Minnesota butcher shop uses meat vending machine for off hours

HUDSON, MN (WCMH) — It can be difficult to keep stores, let alone a butcher shop, open for 24 hours, but one owner has found an alternative to serve its customers.

For more than 30 years, Rick Reams has been selling quality beef and prime cuts of meats at RJ’s Meats. “Small business like ours, we’re seeing a lot of people are coming back to the butcher shops, where they can, as they say, trust me,” Reams tells WCCO.

However, that uptick in business means higher demand; demand that stretches 24/7.

In an effort to supply this demand, Reams has installed a meat vending machine that he stocks with everything from brats, to bacon, to potato salad and even seasonings.

“I’ll be filling it and servicing it every day, and I have an app on my phone that will tell me what the temperature is inside the machine,” Reams tells WCCO. “If it hits max value and goes over that, the machine won’t dispense food. If it’s not a safe temperature the machine won’t dispense to customer, which is awesome in my eyes.”

Reams says the vending machine, which is the first of its kind in the United States, may take some getting used to, but the convenience to the customers is undeniable. “I look at it as another way for me to serve customers when I can’t be here for them.”

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