ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – You won’t find your usual Coca-Cola or Snickers bars in these vending machines.
Lucid Vending brings a bit of flair, novelty, and local artwork to three locations across Pinellas County with their creative vending machines.
Kayla Cox and Chance Ryan own the business, but told 8 On Your Side’s Daisy Ruth they’re not the first to provide vending machines with interesting products around the country.
“In fact, we keep finding more of them that keep popping up. What I will say is that everyone does it their own way, it’s called ‘creative vending,’ and we call it the ‘creative vending machine revolution,'” said Ryan. “And the idea of it is, is we take old vending machines, we put unique things in them. Whether it’s our thrifted good or just kind of vintage items or craft goods that people make themselves, so they’re around.”
Vending machines contain artwork from artists around the St. Petersburg area, as well as novelty items such as the popular 90s Tamagotchi and even tarot cards.
“Right now, I believe there’s at least 10 or 11 different local artists from St. Pete and Pinellas Park area. Right now, we also work with Mask Up St. Pete, which is a nonprofit here and St. Pete Distillery for hand sanitizers, which we keep in all our machines,” said Cox. “And just a few different locations that we’re in, we do hope to just continue growing how many artists we work with and get more nonprofits involved and things as well.”
When the duo first got started, they began going to art walks and checking out different shops around the St. Petersburg area. That’s how they began to find artists. Though, now that they are more established, artists are reaching out to them.
Cox is actually an artist herself and said the vending machine concept is much easier to showcase her work.
“I make a lot of art. And a lot of different types of art. And I just prefer the making it part to the selling it part, whether it be online or at art festivals or anything like that. This just seemed like… an easier way to be able to showcase my art while still being able to make it and just get it more out there,” she said.
Moving forward, Ryan and Cox hope to put versions of their vending machines geared toward more of an adult crowd in bars in the area.
They’re hoping to one day possibly expanding to Tampa, and also may possibly do some consulting work, supplying storefronts and retail stores with their own, customized vending machines that a store would operate itself.
“We thought, well we could just customize and create our own vending machine and they could just purchase it from us. And we’d just get a percentage of it and we could start to do something like that, but that’s in the future,” said Ryan.
“That would would be way in the future for sure, yeah,” Cox responded.
Lucid Vending currently has locations at Studios at 5663 in Pinellas Park and Coastal Creative and Pom Poms Teahouse and Sandwicheria in St. Petersburg.