Get Yer Peanuts, Rice, Grits and Benne Wafers Here

vendingI’m not much for year-end round-ups and awards, but this machine is – without a doubt – the best vending machine of 2013.

The Charleston Museum three months ago installed the machine, which was the brainchild of a business student who’s since moved away. After 126 years, you might think the thrill of putting money in a slot and getting food in exchange would have faded, but you’d think wrong – and the concept is especially irresistible when the foods include peanuts, rice and benne wafers.

“People love it,” administrative manager Susan McKellar says. “I always hear people outside my office saying how cool it is.”

McKellar thought the machine would help solve the problem of not having a café to serve hungry visitors, but it’s ended up enhancing their learning experiences.

“Visitors sometimes come downstairs and ask where can they get the rice they read about in the exhibit,” she says. “We can point to the vending machine instead of trying to give directions to Harris Teeter.”

According to McKellar, sales have been slow. “I expect they’ll pick up,” she adds. How could they not?

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