California Company Offers Healthier Snack Options

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 132 views 

A startup company aiming to revolutionize the vending machine industry has its first franchisee in Northwest Arkansas.

Dennis and Carla Laing of Rogers are the newest franchisees of Fresh Healthy Vending, a San Diego-based company that rolls out vending machines filled with healthy, natural food options.

FHV started in 2010 and its machines offer a variety of all-healthy foods and beverages, including 100 percent juices, fresh vegetables, fruits, smoothies and yogurts.

The company has about 150 franchisees nationwide. The cost to invest is about $80,000.

The local franchise started three months ago with 20 vending locations — procured by the company — in schools, offices and public areas throughout Benton and Washington counties.

Outdoor Cap Co. in Bentonville, BAKstage Dance Co. locations in Fayetteville and Rogers, McKee Foods Corp. in Gentry and P.A.M. Transportation Services Inc. in Tontitown are a few of the locations.

“I stumbled across an article about the concept and it made a lot of sense,” said Dennis Laing, a senior account manager for a vendor in Rogers. “People are always looking for something healthier than what’s out there today.”

Three part-time workers help fill the machines, which Laing said differentiates the company from other vending options.

The machines are 6 feet tall, and have dual climate areas, good for room-temperature offerings at the top and chilled products on the bottom. Price ranges are from $1 to $2.50.

Laing said there is no specific growth plan for the company, but he would like to double the number of machines in two years.