All Real Food Vending Machines: Q&A with Daniella
I’ve been following All Real Food on Instagram since Instagram thought it would be a company that I’d like to follow. For once, it was right.
Ever since they had 39 followers, I’ve been excitedly watching, sort of creepily, but not really...:-), the growth of an awesome company changing the stereotype of the vending machine.
You see, Daniella and the team have built All Real Food vending machines filled with fresh, wholesome mains, snacks and desserts to satisfy our tastebuds (believe me, they are delish!), and offer us nutritious alternatives to regular snack food vending machines full of sugar and processed foods.
If there was one near me, it would be my go-to takeaway lunch option! No question.
I caught up with Daniella to discuss how these healthy self-service cafe’s came about, and their mission to provide convenient access to healthy food, one vending machine at a time.
How did All Real Food come about?
As all great ideas start - By accident… Over a farewell lunch, Mark and myself were talking about (and possibly eating) cheese, and the conversation came up that we’ve always wanted to make cheese. I (Daniella) love goats and goat cheese and thought it would be fun to have a goat farm one day. After getting over this business idea – There are no Witchery Stores near goat farms that I’ve heard of ☺ - We still wanted to do something with healthy food. Both Mark and I agreed that we wanted to create a business that was fun and made a difference in people’s lives.
I (Daniella) have always had an interest in healthy food and eating, and most importantly creating healthy food that is actually tasty. Mark developed a passion for healthy eating in the last few years, but has always been confused by the abundance of information available and the confusion with what is actually healthy and what isn’t. We wanted to make healthy, delicious food readily available and educate people about healthy eating.
We started talking about an app for food delivery to yoga studios and gyms. On investigating this, we decided we would need a smart delivery system to allocate orders… We then finally said we needed a vending machine. After lots of research on available machines, we decided the self-service café vending machine business model would have the greatest reach, particularly to universities, schools and hospitals and also be the easiest to duplicate across the state and internationally.
How does it work?
We have vending machines in hospitals, universities, retail precincts and fitness centers. The All Real Food production kitchen is located in Mount Gravatt, Brisbane. Each day, we prepare and package the food in our 5-Star production kitchen. Our head chef Keng Murray leads a team of experienced chefs in the kitchen. Keng is passionate about working with only the finest seasonal produce, preparing everything from scratch and letting the ingredients speak for themselves. Early each morning, the delivery drivers deliver food to each machine in refrigerated vans. Any unsold items are removed from the machines and donated to local charities like The Shack at Nambour and OzHarvest in Brisbane.
What's the All Real Food mission?
The All Real Food mission is to provide an easy way for people to live a healthy lifestyle, enjoy the food they eat and educate people about healthier living and eating.
Where can people find your vending machines?
Our vending machines can be found in hospitals, universities, retail precincts and fitness centers… For a full list of locations please check our website here http://www.allrealfood.com.au/contact/#find-us
What types of goodies can we find in your machines? And how many items are gluten and dairy free?
The Self-Service Cafés offer a variety of delicious and nutritious meal options, ranging from Peking Pork Pockets, Pumpkin Herb Risotto, Thai Coconut Chicken Salads to Buddha Vegetable Bowls, Paleo Granola and Vegan Raw Treats; All Real Food’s self-service menu wouldn’t look out of place at a Wholefood Organic Café. Everything is gluten free except the wraps and at least 50% of our menu items are dairy free too. The menu changes with the seasons and makes the most of abundant local seasonal produce.
How does the food stay so fresh?
We use a couple of tricks to keep things fresh, none of which include any artificial preservatives or additives… With our salads, the trick is the layering. The lettuce at the top doesn’t touch the moist ingredients at the bottom which makes it stay fresh for a lot longer. Dressing is served in a separate container at the top too. The other ingredient we have come to rely on is freshly squeezed lemon juice. We use it to prevent oxidation on our avocado and fresh apple and it works really well!
For something so innovative and healthy, it's really affordable! What would a typical lunch and treat combo cost?
When we started this business, we really wanted to make healthy food as convenient and affordable as possible. Salads start at around $8.50 and sweets at $4.50; you’d be looking around $13 for a salad and healthy treat!
Can people return the containers?
Due to food safety rules, we can’t reuse the containers to serve food, but we encourage people to use them for storage around the house. They can also be recycled.
What happens to the unsold food?
Each café is stocked every day and unsold jars are removed and donated to local charities like The Shack at Nambour and OzHarvest in Brisbane. We get some wonderful feedback from the recipients of our meals…
‘My family is currently staying at Ronald McDonald House in Herston. Yesterday your team dropped off some of these delicious salads and breakfasts for house guests. I just wanted to say these were amazing and a nice change from trying to cook where we are constantly running between the hospital and the house!’ Laura Chisholm
When it's late and you've had a super busy day, what All Real Food jar do you grab?
Haha all of them… These last few cold months through winter, the new Winter Warmer range has been amazing. When I’m lucky enough to get my hands on them, they are always a welcome quick and easy dinner. We simply heat them up in a frying pan over the stove… and if I’m feeling a little creative, I sometimes add some mushrooms, garlic, chilli or baby spinach to jazz it up… The lamb mushroom risotto is my absolute favourite!
Where to next for All Real Food?
We have had lots of enquiries for both machines and franchises interstate and internationally. We would like to expand the business through a partnership model where we have partners operating the business in each state and internationally…. This is the next big project once we have the Brisbane cafes all up and running.
There are so many places I would love to see your vending machines! If someone wanted one in their facility, how can they get in touch?
We’d be happy to look at any prospective location. The process starts with a site visit to ensure we can install the machine at the prospective location as well as have good access for daily deliveries.
To discuss having a Self Service Café, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 883 558.