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E1006 Farmer's Fridge CEO Luke Saunders makes healthy food vending machines & crafts menus with data

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Farmer’s Fridge CEO & Founder Luke Saunders is creating a connected network of vending machines offering fresh & healthy meals, shares insights on creating a restaurant-like experience, solving food-supply chain issues, capitalizing on grassroots marketing & real-world virality & using sales data to create the most appealing menu

0:44 Jason intros Luke and describes how he found out about Farmer’s Fridge
5:01 How did Luke overcome barriers of making a vending machine feel like a restaurant
9:18 Luke’s life before Farmer’s Fridge
11:52 How Luke discovered the issues of distribution that led to Farmer’s Fridge
16:18 Building the first Farmer’s Fridge vending machine
23:48 Ideal locations for Farmer’s Fridge machines & where the first machine was placed
29:35 How did Farmer’s Fridge begin to expand and hit critical mass
34:22 Using sales data to craft the most appealing menu
37:00 Getting VCs interested
41:57 Who was the first bold VC to put $ in? How did they prove themselves to institutional firms?
46:27 Machine cost over time & maximizing inventory
49:56 How hardships made Luke fearless
51:30 “Startup cannibalism”??? & low-burn culture
54:27 Farmer’s Fridge NYC expansion
58:27 How does Farmer’s Fridge compare to fast-casual salad restaurants

A HUGE Thanks to our generous Patreon supporters: Stefan Samne, Niall Dennehy, Tom Meagher, Abdel Bioud, Carlos Aguilar, Podcast Notes, Mike Jonas, Tasneem, Vin Dowling, Stefano Vettorazzi, Mikael Pawlo, Luke Mroz, Tim-Kress Spatz, Dith Na, Jeremy Davidson, Clayton Memele, Scott LaVictor, Kirstan Barnett, David Wolkin, Darius Vasefi, Liron Shapira, Hassan Albalawi, Dominik Faber, Anthony Holley, Blaine Tanner, David Bailey, Marc Cyr, Monika Norwid, Ron Berkes, Russell S Holmes, Nicholas Wickman, Ryan Morrison, Robera Geleta, Barrie Heptonstall, Eric Dewhirst, Tony Bova, Bob Wilkinson, Ashon, Victor Izmaylov, Igor Ostrovsky, Alistair Palmar, Brian Kearns, Straight Cash Homie, Gordon Gooch, Said Saad, Ron Theis, Florian Schwarz, Scott Gay, Andy Vinh, Almuhtada Smith, Dave Rimmer, Arnaud Devie, Tim Shnaider, Brian Kearns, Dave, Steve Bernat, Cynthia, Ayo Dele, Chris Swain, Jack Reichert, Zen Lenon, Pam, Nick, Miguel Solano JJ, David Daily, Mark John & Tolu!!!

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Mario Johnson

    December 5, 2019 at 12:38 am

    I see these machines at my old place of employment and the public university here, I need to try them out.

  2. Mario Johnson

    December 5, 2019 at 12:38 am

    Cruller the size of baby’s arm, jeez I bet that was good.

  3. LT Kwok

    December 5, 2019 at 12:38 am

    Luke is awesome. Sold the car…

  4. Acely

    December 5, 2019 at 12:38 am

    Lit AF Jason!

  5. titansolaris

    December 5, 2019 at 12:38 am

    Why 5 thumbs down jesus, this interview was awesome

  6. Jorie Witte

    December 5, 2019 at 12:38 am

    The (giant!) olive that never left… 8D

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Food

Vegans Are Sharing the Most Pathetic Desserts They’ve Ever Been Served at Restaurants

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Right now on Twitter, Oreo is running a promoted tweet with a short video encouraging everyone to leave one specific brand of sandwich cookie for Santa this year. It’s just as cringe as it sounds, and the only reason we’re not dragging Oreo all the way to the North Pole and back for the line “slide my sleigh into your DMs” is because it’s the holidays.

Anyway, while Santa’s being demanding AF about his cookie selection, a vegan woman just wished she’d gotten any cookie—or any kind of real dessert, period—when she celebrated her birthday at a Melting Pot restaurant.

“I went out for my birthday and I’m vegan so they gave me a single slice of banana instead of cake,” the woman, who calls herself Yazmin on Twitter, posted, attaching a photo of that sad fruit piece, topped with an equally sad candle. (Obviously they couldn’t give her the entire banana, not when they’re going for $120,000 each.)

Someone surrounded this depressing still life with the words “Happy Birthday” written in chocolate syrup, and the way the last three letters in “Birthday” sat on each other’s shoulders just made the entire thing even more disheartening.

Her tweet collected almost 200 responses, and a significant number of them were from other vegans who had been served equally ridiculous attempts at “dessert” at restaurants. “One time i went out for my bday and they gave me a cup of ice with a cherry on top,” someone else responded. Another added that she’d just been given an entire cup of whipped cream—which she couldn’t eat, because it was a dairy product.

So many food crimes disguised as desserts were reported: a half-peeled orange with a candle on top. A fruit salad that only included two grapes and a strawberry. Cocoa mixed with sugar water. “I got a single strawberry, and I’m not even vegan,” another woman chimed in.

How is it, in 2019, the Year of Our Lizzo and Savior, that restaurants don’t have some kind of go-to vegan dessert on hand to pass out to guests who are celebrating something, whether it’s a birthday, an anniversary, or just the fact that they officially gave their last fuck earlier in the afternoon. (And if you’re thinking of treating vegans the same way you’d treat Santa, Oreo says that although its products are vegetarian-friendly, the cookies might have come into cross-contact with milk, so it doesn’t consider them to be officially vegan.)

But a vegan artist named Asher might have the right idea. “Went to Olive Garden on my birthday and they just gave me more breadsticks,” he tweeted.

Yeah, that sounds good. Let’s go with that.





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EASY VEGAN Mediterranean Lunch Bowls by @glowingly.well . Tag a friend in the co…

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EASY VEGAN Mediterranean Lunch Bowls😍🌱 by @glowingly.well
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Tag a friend in the comments who would totally love this recipe😍
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Follow for more vegan recipes🌱
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@healthyvegancuisine
@healthyvegancuisine
@healthyvegancuisine
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📚FREE DESSERT RECIPE E-BOOK link in bio
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#healthyfoodshares #feelgoodfoodie #feelgoodfoods #feelgoodfood #foodgoals #healthyfamilymeals #foodiefeature #healthyfoodshares #plantbaseddiets #veganzone

 



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My Favorite 2019 Food-Focused Charities

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This post originally appeared on December 7, 2019, in Amanda Kludt’s newsletter “From the Editor,” a roundup of the most vital news and stories in the food world each week. Read the archives and subscribe now.


Though I’m not religious, I admire the principle of tithing — taking a portion (a tenth!) of your take-home income and giving it to the community. Conveniently, in the church that often means giving the money to … the church. But there are many faiths that encourage taking that tithe and giving it to worthy charities. I have a personal percentage I’ve tried to hit since my teenage waitressing days but I often forget about it until the very end of the year.

Now is a good time to take stock in charitable donations, whether that’s time or money, for 2019. And since last week’s newsletter was focused on my favorite food-related gifts to buy for the holidays, recommending some food-related charitable foundations could be a good counter-balance.

My go-to food charities include The Food Bank For New York City, Hot Bread Kitchen, La Cocina, Restaurant Workers Community Foundation, and Restaurant Opportunities Centers. I would love to learn about yours. If you want to send me your favorites to amanda@eater.com, I’ll make sure to list them in this space in the coming weeks.



ABC Pony
Rey Lopez


We talk about the phenomenon of holiday-themed bars and interview the founder of Miracle, who licenses out his pop-up concept to dozens of bars around America. Then we get into the biggest stories of the week.




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