You want a steak.
A good steak.
Everything is closed. There’s nothing in the fridge.
So you settle for some stale chips? Go to bed hungry?
Hop in the car and head out towards route 209 in Stone Ridge and you’ll find Applestone Meat Co, 24/7 Butcher, “The Butcher That Never Sleeps.”
You’ll find that steak and lots of other great meats waiting for you at their vending machine.
Yes, a vending machine.
Joshua and Jessica Applestone first opened Applestone Meat Company in 2013 as a whole-animal processing facility. Josh, who is a 4th generation butcher and Jessica who owned Fleicher’s in Kingston sold the business in 2013. Not sure exactly what they were going to do next, they sought to find a new way to use their butchering background by forming a more direct relationship with farmers and create a more humane way of processing animals.
Partners and general manager, Samantha Gloffke explains, “The original reason for the vending machine was that in the processing facility, there was just two of us and a butcher. People were constantly coming, knocking at the door wanting to buy meat.
Our business wasn’t retail and we weren’t set up to serve them, but it was obvious there was a need for our meats. We knew we had to come up with a way to accommodate the demand.
We thought, how do we sell our product to them and not have to go the whole retail route?”
And the idea of vending machines to hold and dispense the meats was born. The machines are stocked with fresh cuts of beef, pork and lamb.
They offer, a top-quality product, while keeping costs down for the consumer and allowing people to to shop whenever they want—a win-win for everyone.
Applegate’s sources all its meats, locally in the Hudson Valley from Josef Meiller Slaughterhouse, a multi-generational business, family owned and located in Pine Plains. “We work with Meiller’s because the meat is from good, ethical, raising standards and we know we can stop in and visit at any time and always be welcomed.
Now you will find beef, lamb and pork in the machine but soon they’ll be adding hot dogs, bacon, cold cuts and chicken.
They are open 11:00 to 6:00 when there is always one staff member to answer questions, give you recipe ideas, stock the machine and help people through the process. “We do very much still believe the human connection is very important in any business” says Gloffke.
Applestone say that the plans are to expand and open additional stores. “We are really proud of what we do and how the business is growing” he tells me. “The vending machines help us cut overhead and allow us to be able to provide clean, healthy food and keep the cost to the customer lower. It also allows us to take better care of our employees.”
Speaking of employee, Gloffke also wanted me to mention, that they are actively hiring for production and processing. “We will take people who have no training and teach them. It is a specific skill set that most people don’t have and it is more about having a good attitude and personality.” If you are looking for a job and want to learn a new skill with a growing local business, contact them through their website.
Joshua and Jessica have also written a book; The Butcher’s Guide to Well Raised-Meat a comprehensive guide to buying, butchering and cooking ethically raised meat which Bon Appetite praised as “the new bible for conscious carnivores.” (See below and enter to win your own copy)
Meats in vending machines, is the way of the future. “Just like ATMs were ground breaking, now you see them everywhere. This has the potential to do the same, and at the same time up the convenience of buying clean, healthy food” say Applestone.
If vending machines aren’t your thing, Applestone’s also offers online ordering and custom orders.
HudsonValleyEATS is offering you a chance to win an exclusive gift set including the Applestone’s book samples of their meat and a $20 gift certificate, just click here.
3607 Main Street Stone Ridge, NY 12484
4737 US-209 Accord, NY 12404