Updated: June 10, 2020 05:50 PM
Created: June 10, 2020 02:58 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Fresh-cut meats from a vending machine? It might sound a little peculiar, but for those looking to minimize contact as they food shop it may also have been a stroke of genius.
You'll find this refrigerated vending machine at McCann's local meats in the city's South Wedge neighborhood.
"I can put anything I want into any compartment at any time and have it individually priced, the way we do things by pound," owner Kevin McCann said.
Kevin and Mo McCann opened the butcher shop five years ago this month. But their growing business came to an unexpected halt in march when the pandemic hit. McCann made the difficult decision to temporarily close because he had a number of employees with immune deficiencies.
"So the stress on the remaining staff was so great that, number one, it didn't make a lot of logistical sense. Number two, we were having to work, three,four times as hard to make the exact same sale, so it didn't make economic sense at the time either," McCann said.
During that closure, he took a colleague's advice and invested in the vending machine, reconfiguring the vestibule at the shop to make it available to customers 24/7.
"There's everything from prepared foods like macaroni and cheese or coleslaw or baked beans or roasted vegetables, to bacon or some of our marinated products or fresh steaks," McCann added.
McCann says you'll find the same quality meats and prepared foods in the machine that you'll find in their shop.
"There's things in there that range from $5 all the way up to $85," McCann said.
For those who want the full experience, McCann's re-opened June 1.
"There's nothing in our shop that would resemble anything at any of the other places. It's much more of an old school type of approach, right," said McCann.
He says it's the personal experience that sets them apart. That, and a wider array of cuts to choose from. All the animals are locally sourced from within 60 miles of Rochester.
"It's all hormone, antibiotic and steroid free, grass-fed beef, pastured pork and poultry. We bring in everything whole, we break down everything in-house in full view of the customer. We cut and grind fresh for the case every day from those animals," McCann said.
As for the meat machine, McCann expects it to be a permanent addition to the business, providing convenience to his customers even after the pandemic has passed.
"It's been nice. As a revenue stream, it's great, but the more important part to us has been giving our customers an option that is on their terms, on their schedule, and perhaps in a way that makes them feel more safe and secure."
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