LITTLE ROCK, Ark — (KTHV) - When most people think of vending machines, junk food likely comes to mind.
It’s fast, easy and convenient, but not exactly the healthiest. However, a concept new to Little Rock is changing the way people think about vending machines and the way they eat.
Two years ago, Little Rock native Matt Runnells and his wife decided they were going to eat healthier. The busy couple found it difficult to find healthy food on the go for a decent price.
“It just got to the point where doing recipes and going to the store and packaging it for the next day just gets overwhelming and we thought ‘how great would it be to have it already made to-go in a machine and buy it?,’” said Runnells.
That is how Raiz was born – a refrigerated vending machine that offers healthy meals to-go.
“We call them automatic kiosks because they are 24/7 They are refrigerated and they are a different style of vending machine where we can offer anything we want in it,” said Runnells.
The kiosk offers everything from salads to bowls to beverages, including kombucha from Hot Springs. All items range in price from $3 to $8.
Runnells said all of the recipes are made from scratch each morning by a local chef. He said they try and source as much as they can from local farmers markets.
Each meal is packaged in a recyclable container that you can eat right out of with a fork included. Runnells said whatever goes uneaten is given to those who need it most.
“We take out what wasn't sold and we donate to local charities. We take it out a day early. It helps us keep things fresh so that way customers are getting what we made,” said Runnells. “The lettuce stays crisp and there is no dressing getting bad and also we can go give it out to the community where we can help people that really need food.”
To learn more about Raiz, its mission and for a look at the menu visit their website below.