» Subscribe Today!
The Power of Information
Home
The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition
X
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Article
VOL. 35 | NO. 31 | Friday, August 5, 2011

Soccer mom scores with healthy vending

Print | Front Page | Email this story

While watching one of her sons play soccer one night in Franklin, Christy Sykes’ daughter, Sadie, asked for a snack. Not wanting to leave during the game, she sent her husband to find something from the available machines. He came back with Skittles.

“I thought, there had to be something better,” Sykes says. But a quick search of the indoor arena showed that while there was plenty of vending options, they just weren’t healthy. And Sykes had a real problem with that.

“Research shows 19 to 30 percent of school age children are obese, and 43 percent of those children will become obese adults. So when I see the chips and candy and the high fat options, even if kids increase their physical activity, when they are not able to eat something healthy they are still going to be fighting some kind of weight issue,” she says. “They can’t be exercising all the time.”

So Sykes went home and began to search for healthy vending options online. And, just like that, the pharmaceutical sales rep decided to become a Fresh Healthy Vending franchisee. Based in San Diego, Fresh Healthy Vending launched in 2010 and fills dual-climate machines with a healthy variety of foods that include fresh fruits, vegetables, soymilk, yogurt, 100 percent juices and smoothies.

Find Fresh Healthy Vending machines at Showtime Sports Academy in Franklin, Maryland Farms YMCA, Let It Shine in Franklin, Franklin YMCA, Battle Ground Academy, Brentwood YMCA, Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Life Point Hospital.

“People in this community are health conscious and they deserve to have options to the traditional junk food found in most vending machines,” Sykes says. “I have been really excited about how everyone else had been excited and embraced this whole new concept.”

Sykes has placed 10 machines so far at sites including the Maryland Farms, Franklin and Brentwood YMCAs, as well as Cheekwood Botanical Garden. She is looking for a location to place an 11th machine, which she just received as a prize for Franchisee of the Month.

“This is just my small contribution to change things up some and give kids the options,” she adds.

The mother of three still has her fulltime pharmaceutical job and depends on the support of family and friends to juggle all of the aspects of her busy life.

“I laugh because it has become kind of a family business because sometimes my 18-year-old will go out and check things for me. We are all involved,” she says. “Initially, my husband and I were looking for a secure investment, and it is nice to own something that is yours. There are definitely headaches that come along with it on the front end but I am learning more about business.”

Credit card machines make it easy for the customers to pay the slightly higher prices that come with fresh products. And filling the machines is different from traditional models in that they need more stock rotation. But the machines keep track of what has sells and sends Sykes an email each morning with inventory details.

“It is easy to manage,” she says. “It keeps an account of what has been dispensed, from which row and how many went out of that row so I can do a quick tally.”

And while that first arena that inspired Sykes is not on board yet, she hopes that changes soon.

“That is one place where I would like to see a machine, because that is where it all started,” she says. “In fact, I am going to be there tonight.”

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & RSS:
Sign-Up For Our FREE email edition
Get the news first with our free weekly email
Name
Email  
TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0