Gone are the days of Doritos for breakfast and Snickers for lunch if Austin's newest health food business has their way. Alpaca Market aims to shake up the vending machine status quo, replacing junk food with farm food in their new kiosks across the city. Their menu is fresh (the jarred meals were whipped up that very morning), nutrient-dense (every available option is packed full of cell-building goodness like dark leafy greens and wholesome proteins), and chef-prepared (an actual chef mindfully crafted each dish from scratch, even the yogurt). Joe and Brittaney Kerby, Alpaca Market founders and husband-and-wife team, know that when it comes to feeding your body, quality matters.
"With the nutrition knowledge we've gained, we know that your body actually does become what you eat. So we believe strongly in people putting nutrient-dense food in their body," Joe says.
But it wasn't always that way. The Kerbys owned McDonald's franchises for several years until their oldest son, Noah, developed severe food allergies. Brittaney became a certified health coach, and on a family road trip last year, the concept for Alpaca Market was born. When they returned to Austin, they sold the franchises and made their new mission providing nutritious fast food to everyone – those looking for an easy lunch and families struggling to afford quality groceries. Alpaca Market donates a portion of each sale to various food charities in Austin, including Central Texas Food Bank, and because the food in each kiosk is made fresh every day, the unsold leftovers are donated to places like Keep Austin Fed.
"We're trying to disrupt the current food paradigm and the misconception that it's hard to eat healthy when you're busy," Joe says.
Alpaca Market's machines make it easier to grab a quick meal, anytime of day, and still adhere to almost every dietary need: Step away from the desk, walk to a kiosk, see the available options, read about ingredients on the machine's touch screen, and swipe a credit card. Everything in the vending machines is gluten-free, and most of it is vegan, paleo, or vegetarian, even the chocado mousse. The Beauty Bowl – mixed greens topped with shredded beets, carrots, tri-color quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, crispy chickpeas, and toasted pumpkin seeds and served with turmeric maple tahini dressing – is the bestseller. Other choices include lavender honey chicken salad, galettes, and overnight breakfast oats. Snacks such as hummus and cheese are far more sustaining than prepackaged chocolate cakes, and their drink options like kombucha, sparkling water, and Cuvée cold brew won't rot your pearly whites.
The catering menu will give Jason's Deli a much-needed break, and because the plan is to scale up as quickly as possible, Alpaca Market is accepting suggestions for new kiosk locations. (Note: We could really use a healthy snack machine around here, too.)
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