Farmer’s Fridge: freshly prepared salads from vending machines in Chicago and beyond

Farmer's Fridge

While I was mingling with guests at a concert recently, I met a young man who told me he worked for a company that sold fresh salads out of vending machines throughout Chicago, that are made from locally sourced ingredients. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I asked him to tell me more about this company and how he was involved. He told me the company is called Farmer’s Fridge and his role is to slice, dice, and prepare the fresh salads that stock the machines. Intrigued, I wanted to learn more.

Lucky for me, I was able to score an interview with East Coast native, Luke Saunders; the CEO and founder of Farmer’s Fridge. Luke told me he got the idea for Farmer’s Fridge while traveling for work in the manufacturing business and not being able to find healthy food options in unknown cities and at odd hours of the day. Having been raised by a mom who cooked lots of fresh vegetables and seafood, he understood the many benefits of a healthy diet. Luke wanted to figure out a way to make healthy, delicious meals easily accessible for people on the go – people like him.

farmer's fridge “Farmer’s Fridge embraces the quirk of selling salads out of machines, but our intention is to create salads that stand up to those offered at any restaurant, says Luke.

When asked how the company managed to serve fresh salads from vending machines on a daily basis, Luke laughed and said, “lots of work.”  People produce around the clock preparing the freshly made foods that Farmer’s Fridge sells at their veggie kiosks (vending machines). Farmer’s Fridge’s ingredients are sourced from local farms and vendors and are mostly organic. Everything is seasonal and is hand-chopped daily. Some items, like avocados, need to be sliced and soaked in lemon juice, to preserve color and freshness, just minutes before the salads are assembled and taken to the machines. Salads are restocked daily and leftovers are taken to local food banks or back to the employees for them to enjoy (some of whom have lost weight from having access to so much healthy food!).

I asked Luke if he faced a lot of resistance when he told his friends and family about his idea. He said his friends initially told him “you’ve had a lot of stupid ideas, but this is by far the dumbest.” It took awhile to come together, but Farmer’s Fridge currently has over 10 locations in Chicago. When asked about plans for expansion, Luke didn’t give any details, but suggested that we can expect to see more Farmer’s Fridge veggie kiosks popping up throughout Chicagoland in the future.
farmer's fridge farmer's fridge

Check out the current Farmer’s Fridge menu here and find a Farmer’s Fridge “veggie” machine near you.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Samantha Turner

Samantha Turner is a Chicago based Certified Health Coach working with clients to achieve individual wellness goals by creating and implementing healthy habits that transform lives. Samantha is passionate about healthy cooking, nutrition, enjoying the outdoors and music. She has her own wellness blog where you can learn more about Samantha and her custom coaching services. Find Samantha’s articles here.

You may also like...


  1. Really good, but it would be better if it came with a fork. I took one with me on a round of golf last week and I didn’t think about bringing my own fork. hard to “drink” out of the jar. But the salad was really good. The amount of dressing was just right.

    1. Hi Shaun- glad you enjoyed the salads! Each dish actually comes with a fork and cardboard “plate” to mix up the dressing… the salad you tried was via a different method of delivery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *