ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Vending machines popping up around Tampa Bay are offering new choices for customers and the companies that fill them.
At The Studio Public House in St. Petersburg, you can buy gourmet snacks for dogs, made by owner Michael Crippin.
"You take the bone to the counter and Mike will give you the fresh dog biscuit", said Chance Ryan, who co-founded Lucid Vending.
But it's not just treats for Fido. Lucid Vending lets local businesses offer everything from jewelry to greeting cards to food.
Artist and Lucid Vending co-founder Kayla Cox uses the machines to sell earrings.
"These are earrings that I make using recycled materials like cardboard magazine clippings and acrylic paint. I use recycled materials to make things like tambourines, musical instruments. I make my own art prints paintings. I thought that incorporating my art into the machine would be a good way to sell them while still being able to create," she said.
The machines are refurbished vending machines from the late 1980s and early 1990s.
"They were on their way to a landfill before we got a hold of them. They're customizable machines. we customize them to the clientele and to the business," said Ryan.
"They carry local art, handmade goodies, crafts and just other kinds of fun things," Crippin added.
And there's no cost to the business.
"If any business wants one, we provide it for free. We like to meet up with them to hand paint it so it blends in with the business," said Ryan.
Business owners said the vending machines are paying off.
"They are generating a whole platform, for us, of customers who come in to check out the vending machine and then they wind up staying for a glass of wine, a beer, a sandwich," said Amanda King, of Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe.
"The businesses we work with tell us that people seek out their location just to see one of our vending machines," said Cox.
For more information about Lucid Vending, visit https://lucidvending.com/