A Crofton farmer has cracked the code on delivering farm-fresh products to the dining room table with an innovative twist: an egg vending machine.
Instead of relying on a typical roadside produce stand, often targeted by thieves, Doug Groenendijk has installed the self-serve machine along Crofton Road that delicately dispenses the precious cargo right into customers’ hands.
Groenendijk says he got the idea after seeing a similar model in the Lower Mainland, then decided to hatch his own concept.
“I recently just got chicken and had an oversupply so I thought it would be a bit of a novelty idea,” says Groenendijk. “Everyone has a credit card or debit card nowadays so it’s really convenient for the consumers and myself.”
The machine is stocked 24/7 unless it sells out, which is often the case.
“I’ve been having supply issues; I don’t have enough chickens to keep up with the demand. That’s how well this machine’s worked out for me,” he says.
The community seems to love this popular spot. Groenendijk shares, “I have a little comment box, and I get lots of people dropping notes saying, ‘this is a great idea, love it, so cool, futuristic.'”
The egg-cellent vending machine also addresses concerns about theft, a classic problem faced by farm stand operators’ who run on the honour system. But there are no such concerns with the vending machine, as it operates cashless.
“So there’s really no reason for a thief to break in because they’re not going to get any cash and no one needs 10-dozen eggs,” says Groenendijk.
The egg-citing addition to his farm, which he’s called Legend Dairy Farms, is only the beginning. This past summer he was selected for the Dairy New Entrant Program, meaning Groenendijk is well on his way to doing much more than selling eggs.
“Today (Wednesday), I start my own dairy farm so I’ll be milking my own herd of jerseys and behind the egg stand I grow crops, so this summer I’ll be busy,” says Groenendijk.
On Wednesday night, the young farmer will be welcoming home 36 jersey cows. But don’t panic, the roadside vending machine isn’t going anywhere, and in fact, Groenendijk hopes to install more, and even potentially start selling them.
He encourages anyone with questions to reach out to him by emailing [email protected]