Salad Stand Is Debuting Salad Vending Machines
Pinterest may have launched a million ill-fated DIY projects, but for brothers Matt and Joe Wyman, it was the start of a full-fledged business.
Joe, who is training to become a nutritionist, was searching for tasty, convenient ways for his friends to eat better, with little luck. But when Matt’s girlfriend saw Mason jar salads on Pinterest, he knew he’d found his solution.
“It’s a great idea because they last five to seven days and [people] can have them wherever they go,” Joe says. “I started making salads every week, putting them in real glass mason jars, and then delivering them to people who wanted to become healthier, and it was a huge success for them.”
Joe’s side project eventually grew into the idea for Salad Stand-–jarred to-go salads that could be sold out of vending machines in gyms, offices, and malls. The brothers perfected their recipes with the help of a food scientist, and the business is set to debut in as-yet-undisclosed Boston gyms on Jan. 1, 2015.
The salads will cost around $7 and the brothers promise that it won’t be the typical wilted, pre-made salads people are used to. “These are definitely not your average small size, pre-packaged salad at the grocery store,” Joe stresses. “We have eight or nine ingredients per salad, so we want it to be an interesting option.”
Matt and Joe—who are 26 and 21 years old, respectively—say Salad Stand will first introduce its smaller refrigerators, which hold about 35 products each, to gyms and small businesses as a way to complement existing nutritious to-go meal options. A little further down the road, the duo will roll out larger models for public places (read: malls, large offices) that can hold up to 100 salads. Matt says they’re also hoping to implement a donation partnership with Boston-area food banks at some point.
Although the Wyman brothers are locals, Matt says the city’s entrepreneurial spirit makes it a great first location for what he hopes will eventually be a nationwide business. “Boston as a whole attracts a tech-friendly, startup-type idea,” he says. “I almost look at it like the San Francisco of the East Coast. It really has the people we’re trying to target—they’re on the go, they’re really busy, but they care about their bodies.”
It also helps, Matt says, that both Boston and the U.S. as a whole are becoming more attracted to the idea of fast food that is still healthy. “If you look around, in the past 10 or 15 years with the Biggest Loser, with people becoming more conscious of what they eat, I think the nation has a new awareness level,” he says. “It just makes us better as a nation, and if we can be part of that, that would be awesome.”