Thrilled to learn about FRESH FRIG health vending kiosks becoming popular by demand. I’ve always been disappointed when I go to a vending machine and there are no healthy choices or the ones deemed healthy are simply better than the alternative.
People usually go to a vending machine when they can’t get to a store or a dining area at a school or workplace is closed. No one should feel held hostage to unhealthy choices.
It’s even worse when that vending machine is located within a hospital, school, workplace or gym –all places you expect to care about your health and wellness. There are some vending machines that toss in a few items you know are loaded with sugar or carbs as there are a lot of fake “healthy” foods out there. So, it’s refreshing when a real healthy choice is available.
I interviewed Brad Callow, the CEO of 6AM HEALTH, who says his mission has always been to help people live healthier. He says he’s interested in psychology and behavioral economics. He knows from observation that people will make healthier choices or poorer choices depending on their environment.
So, he first started a delivery company called 5AM Juice to deliver a healthier choice.
He laughs as he recalls friends telling him the number 5 in the name looked like the letter “S” and people kept asking why he started a company called Sam Juice.
Then, he thought it’d be better to bring healthier foods to highly trafficked areas, like colleges, hospitals, airports, malls and large office parks.
So far, so good. He placed them at Tuck University and there is one in South Station in Boston.
“You can reserve items in advance. If you know you’ll be arriving at Penn Station in New York City and there is a FRESH FRIG there, you can pre-select what you’d like from your phone. Scan upon arrival.”
The FRESH FRIG is provided to locations free of cost as long as there are guaranteed sales from being in a highly trafficked area.
Fresh food selections include veggie salads and high protein items. They also include beverage choices of green juice, carrot apple juice, cleanse juice and coffee as well.
Individual item costs in the kiosk are from $6. – $9. which may seem high, but most nearby establishments charge $10. and above when open.
New “Healthy Vending Machine” Company 6AM Health Partners with Tuck Student Team
A team of Tuck students is working with 6AM Health, a specialty food business founded by Brad Callow T’13, to help bring the company to scale.
The first 6AM Health fresh fridge was installed in March in Tuck’s PepsiCo Dining Room.
MEDIA | INVESTOR INQUERIES: Contact Brad@6amhealth.com
BY KIRK KARDASHIAN
Brad Callow T’13 is quick to find the common thread in his post-MBA career: health care.
In his first few jobs, this is clear. He began working in the therapeutics space, and then switched to diagnostics and health care technology. But in 2017, he went in a different direction. That’s when he founded 6AM Health, a specialty food business that focused on green juices. He soon expanded to fresh salads and meals, delivering them directly to his customers in the Boston Metro area before 6 a.m. For Callow, food is the first medicine—both preventative and healing.
“I realized that problems like obesity have a lot of co-morbidities,” he says, “so if we use food to minimize obesity, we can prevent a lot of other diseases at the same time.”
Instead of selling food to individual customers through a subscription delivery service, 6AM Health will begin installing “fresh fridges”—think healthy vending machines—at locations across the Northeast.
Now Callow is partnering with Tuck students on a First-Year Project (FYP) to take his company to scale. As he learned more and more about the food industry, he discovered that success is mostly about logistics. You can have the freshest, best-tasting food, but without an efficient way to deliver it to customers, it’s not worth much.
So instead of selling food to individual customers through a subscription delivery service, 6AM Health will begin installing “fresh fridges”—think healthy vending machines—at locations across the Northeast.
The first one was installed in March at Tuck, in the PepsiCo Dining Room. He’s counting on the First-Year Project students to bring an entrepreneurial focus to the Fresh Fridge, testing pricing and product combinations and solving logistical problems.
“Having the FYP team will be incredibly helpful,” Callow says. “What we need to do is continue learning and sorting out what people like and don’t like. And I would love this to eventually be something like TuckStuff or theBOX, where it’s student-run and it becomes a permanent operation there.”
Callow is counting on the First-Year Project students to bring an entrepreneurial focus to the Fresh Fridge, testing pricing and product combinations and solving logistical problems.
Elizabeth Kachavos T’20 knows theBOX well: she’s worked there since arriving at Tuck last summer. The FYP with 6AM Health was a natural choice for her, since she’s interested in the food industry and looking for more opportunities for real-world learning in that sector. “We’ve seen there’s a great demand for healthier fresh food on campus—especially on the weekends when the dining hall is closed,” she says. “I’d love to play a role in increasing those options at Tuck.”
Another member of the FYP team is Elisa Scudder D’14, T’20. She gravitated toward 6AM Health because she’s interested in product entry strategy and market entry.
“This fits that niche perfectly,” she says. “It’s not too early-stage: the business model is set up but it’s just expanding into this new market.”
Scudder is also excited about working on a project that can have a real impact on campus. “We’re going to physically see what we’re working on and hear our classmates talk about how they like it or don’t like it,” Scudder says.
HAVING THE FYP TEAM WILL BE INCREDIBLY HELPFUL. WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS CONTINUE LEARNING AND SORTING OUT WHAT PEOPLE LIKE AND DON’T LIKE. AND I WOULD LOVE THIS TO EVENTUALLY BE SOMETHING LIKE TUCKSTUFF OR THEBOX, WHERE IT’S STUDENT-RUN AND IT BECOMES A PERMANENT OPERATION THERE.
At first, the Fresh Fridge will be stocked with food prepared at 6AM Health’s kitchen outside Boston, and will be re-stocked every week. During the course of the FYP, Callow hopes the team can find a more local farm to partner with, and the most efficient and cost-effective way to prepare and package the items. It might involve working with the Byrne servery, or the team from theBOX.
“This FYP is really about e-ship,” Callow says. “What’s the best, most sustainable way to keep this going? I’m also just fired up to work with Tuckies.”
This story will appear in the summer 2019 issue of Tuck Today magazine.
Check Out This Healthy Food Vending Machine Coming to South Station
Waltham-based meal prep company 6AM Health is making moves with what they’re calling a Fresh Fridge.
by TESSA YANNONE
While vending machines have traditionally had a bad reputation for stocking unhealthy snacks, sodas, and candies the wellness world is busy revamping them. Last week, this one was installed at Brandeis University with healthcare products like condoms and Plan B. And at the beginning of May, meal prep company 6AM Health is installing one at South Station with a ton of healthy food.
The Waltham-based meal delivery service has been delivering healthy fare to the Boston area since 2017. Their process works much like any other meal prep service. You choose from a menu of pre-made meals and snacks like fresh salads, overnight oats, grain bowls, and juices. Then, they’ll have them delivered to your door-step before you even rise in the morning. Hence the name, 6AM Health.
Owner and founder, Brad Callow tells me the initial idea for the company was that if they can change people’s environment, by providing easy access to affordable and healthy food, they can help them make better nutrition choices. But they quickly realized just how much running around the city they were doing. And they saw a need for something just a little more convenient. Enter: the healthy food vending machine.
On May 6, whether you’re traveling out of town or commuting through South Station, you’ll be able to easily purchase meals or snacks from 6AM Health in a vending machine.
They’re calling it a Fresh Fridge and each item is packaged in mason jars, making it easy to eat on the go. And they’re not just stopping with one fridge. Callow says they hope to have 30 all around the Boston area by the end of June. Right now, there is currently one at Dartmouth in New Hampshire. And later this week a few more will be installed at places like the North Shore Mall.
Inside the vending machine you’ll find everything you see on their online menu. Callow explains that since things like salads have a shorter shelf life, there is some more maintenance involved in re-stocking and keeping the food fresh. They do plan to re-stock it every day.
“Grab-and-go food doesn’t need to be fast food or something that’s crappy for you,” he says. “Food is super impulsive. If we place these Fresh Fridges in convenient locations we can change the way people eat on the go.”
Eventually, the whole operation will be even more convenient with a mobile app, currently in the works. Through the app, customers will not only be able to find the nearest Fresh Fridge to them but they will also be able to search and reserve certain menu items at a specific location. So, if you’re really craving a buffalo chicken bowl you can be sure that when you get to the fridge there’s one waiting for you.
And the best part? Bowls and salads will cost you around $7-$8 and a 10 ounce juice will only put you back $5. Compare that to a $10+ Sweet Green salad and a $6.50 small juice from Jugos. You can also request to have a Fresh Fridge at your office, park, or building if you want.
This new concept checks all the boxes on convenience, accessibility, and affordability. And we’re totally here for it—just as long as the juices remain cold and the salads stay crunchy.
MEDIA | INVESTOR INQUERIES: Contact Brad@6amhealth.com
Or Visit: http://www.6amhealth.com
We love it.