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Robb Recommends: This Vending Machine Sells Premium Steak, Chicken and More—Contact Free

Applestone Meat Company's innovative dispensary couldn't have come at a better time.

Applestone Meat Company meat vending machine Photo by Jennifer May

The scourge of Covid-19 makes any contactless transaction a smart choice, but a vending machine that dispenses butcher-quality meats on demand? Like the recent proliferation of push-button Champagne dispensaries, that’s a brilliant idea anytime.

Some may bliss out seeing chocolates arrayed before them, but I’m like a kid in a candy store at the Applestone Meat Company, the amazing butcher shop in Stone Ridge, N.Y., with its nature morte of whole chickens, steaks, pork butts and ground lamb that’s perfect for burgers. And I buy all of it by pushing buttons and watching racks circle around like at an old-time Automat. Applestone sells mostly through its refrigerated vending machines (there’s another in the city of Hudson, N.Y., too), which are stocked several times a day with local, hormone-free and humanely raised meats, all vacuum-sealed and ready to carry away.

Applestone Meat Company

Company founder Joshua Applestone.  Photo by Jennifer May

And this genius operation—run by Joshua Applestone, who previously founded Fleisher’s Craft Butchery with his wife, Jessica—is open 24/7. I keep threatening to make a midnight run for skirt steak. See you there?

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