Atlantic Cities

Chicago's Trendiest New Lunch Option Comes Out of a Vending Machine

The rising star of Chicago's lunch scene is Farmer's Fridge, new vending machines that offer fresh salad in recyclable plastic jars.

Farmer's Fridge was founded by Luke Saunders, who, after some cross-country trips, realized there aren't enough good options for fresh and healthy food on the go.


Farmer's Fridge's first location at Chicago's Garvey Court.  

Here's how it works:

The company gets fresh produce each morning and starts making everything from scratch at 5 a.m. Salads are delivered to the machines around 10.

With the touch screen at the kiosk, customers choose one of five veggie options - two are even vegan - priced around $7 to $8. A side of chicken or tuna will cost you $2 more. Buy after 6 p.m. and you get a $1 discount. Any unsold salads from the day are donated to a local food pantry.

As for the jar itself, simply recycle it, or return it to the kiosk for reuse - although the company also suggests "reincarnating" them as piggybanks, planters, or penholders.

Farmer’s Fridge has opened two locations since November in Chicago, and more are on the way.


A closeup of a Farmer's Fridge machine. (Image screenshot via video news report by Chicago's WGN-TV.)  


A few of Farmer's Fridge salad offerings. 


The "Mediterranean Salad" -- ingredients: Mixed greens, artichoke hearts, cannellini beans, organic cucumber, tomato, Kalamata olives, Parmesan, pine nuts, oregano, and red wine vinaigrette.


A snack of sliced veggies and hummus. 


A customer chooses the Antioxidant Salad with a side of chicken. 

(h/t Treehugger)  

All images via Farmer's Fridge on Instagram, unless otherwise noted.  

Jenny Xie is a fellow at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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