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Vending Machine Meat? Why Not, Says New York Butcher Shop

applestone meat vending machine

During the pandemic, contactless service became the “de rigueur” way to do business. However, for one Upstate New York-based meat purveyor, that’s been their modus operandi for years.

Mesmerized by vending machines from early on, Josh Applestone of Applestone Meat Company decided to combine accessibility with his passion for providing quality cuts of meat. That meant machines that contain T-bone steak, filet mignon, beef tenderloin, bacon, pork rolls and more.applestone meat co logo on a roof

Applestone’s invention, which he developed four years ago, is now both a Covid-19 sensation and a practical solution to today’s social distancing guidelines.

The company, with locations in Hudson and Stone Ridge and a recently opened store in Eastchester, presently has 12 vending machines in operation. And while they also sell products the old-fashioned way from their physical storefronts, the vending machines have taken off. We spoke with Terrah Bretherton, Applestone’s Marketing Associate, to get to the “meat” of the matter.

applestone meat co vending machines

What’s the benefit to the vending machines? Is this the wave of the future in Covid times?
For the situation that we’re all in, vending machines are a great solution to reduce person-to-person interactions. Our vending machines reduce foot traffic and allow our employees to stay in the back.

How does it work? 
The vending machines are stocked multiple times a day by our retail staff with fresh cuts from our Stone Ridge and Kingston facilities. A customer is able to shop independently at our machines and purchase beef, pork, chicken and other processed products like bacon, hot dogs and pork rolls. We try to make it as user-friendly as possible.

steaks in applestone's meat vending machine

Does this target a specific customer?
Accessibility has always been an important aspect of Applestone’s core values. By utilizing vending machines to sell our products we’ve been able to manage a storefront that is always open 24/7. Customers can shop at the speed and time of day that works best for them.

Are you getting this patented?
No, we’re currently designing and building our own custom machines for our stores only.




Harrison Unterman

Harrison is a graduate of Rider University class of 2014 and on a mission to find the best chicken parm on earth.


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