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The Job Interview: Concord couple works to bring healthy vending to schools

  • Learn More About The Healthy Vending Franchise!<br/>http://bit.ly/VmiIxi

    Learn More About The Healthy Vending Franchise!
    http://bit.ly/VmiIxi

  • Learn More About The Healthy Vending Franchise!<br/>http://bit.ly/VmiIxi

    Learn More About The Healthy Vending Franchise!
    http://bit.ly/VmiIxi

  • Learn More About The Healthy Vending Franchise!<br/>http://bit.ly/VmiIxi
  • Learn More About The Healthy Vending Franchise!<br/>http://bit.ly/VmiIxi

When Karen Morais was at work at Concord Hospital one day in 2012, she decided to stop at the vending machine for a snack. But seeing only junk food inside, she opted not to get anything at all.

When she got home that day, she and her husband, Jason Bryant, a professional Brazilian jiu jitsu athlete, decided there must be a way to have healthy snacks on the go. After lots of research, they’ve found one: In August 2013, the Concord couple began “Conveniently Healthy,” a franchise of HUMAN Healthy Vending, a company that provides healthy vending machines for schools and businesses nationwide. (One of HUMAN Healthy Vending’s founders is from Hampton.)

The couple has established partnerships with Goffstown High School and St. Paul’s School, both of which are launching vending machines this spring, and with Delta Dental, where they will open a Healthy Market soon.

Bryant spoke with the Monitor recently about the business:

Tell me about these vending machines.

They’re very state-of-the-art. Every location gets their own custom-made, brand new vending machines. It’s very high-tech. Every product sits on its own individual conveyor belt. They have high-def TVs on top of them to help do some marketing to help with nutritional information at point of sale. The biggest advantage is with students in schools because they’ll get more used to seeing labels and maybe reading the labels.

What’s in them?

Everything is real ingredients from snacks to drinks, that’s HUMAN’s big thing. Nothing fake, they’re all real foods. . . . We have chips, some of the baked fries, the kettle chips, we have all-organic Cheddar Bunnies, all 100 percent natural fruit snacks instead of artificial fruit snacks. We have these really cool whole grain chocolate chip cookies . . . it’s actually healthy and made out of really good food. Clif Bar makes bars for kids.

So there are lots of healthy snack options out there?

Being healthy is now actually a trend, now it’s popular. It’s really fun to introduce these to people, to teach kids that there’s healthy food out there that tastes good. . . . That makes it all worth it – to see kids excited to eat healthy and enjoy it.

What about the Healthy Market you’re offering at Delta Dental?

Basically those are open markets that we place in office buildings and secure locations. They have coolers and shelves that have all the products that we would have in the vending machines, plus all kinds of other products. At Delta Dental, for example, we’re giving them sandwiches, salads, soups, and those are all being made fresh daily at the Red Blazer. And then there’s a little self-checkout kiosk.

Do you provide services beyond bringing in the vending machines?

We do way beyond just stocking vending machines. We do nutritional education, and not just for the kids, we’ll do the same thing

at Delta Dental. What we do is we hold sampling events regularly. We give out free snacks and drinks, and we educate the kids on what we’re handing out, why are these better options. We’ll teach them about reading labels, what to look for.

The nutritional education piece is huge and that’s one big thing that we feel sets us apart from traditional vendors, is we want to be there and form a relationship. We want to make a positive impact in more ways than just providing machines with healthy options.

What does this cost the schools?

(Schools) actually profit from it – our service is free to everybody. We give them really, really good commissions; we base that on a sliding scale based on the amount of sales per month in the machines. We really try to give as much money back as we can to the schools out of these sales. We realize that schools rely on the vending commissions a lot of times. We go above and beyond to boost our sales so that those commissions are bigger than what we used to, and we also show them our sales reports.

Is there anything else you want to add?

Karen, being an LNA, she’s actually seen a spike in juvenile diabetes due to eating habits. . . . Things like this could really help turn that around.

More information about the company is also available at healthyvending.com or by contacting Jason at jason.bryant@healthyvending.com.

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3390 or kronayne@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @kronayne.)

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