NEW YORK (AP) — The vending machine outside Pinch Spice Market dispensing packets of herbs and seasonings isn’t a sales gimmick — it helped cater to customers as the company struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meaghan Thomas, co-owner of the Louisville, Kentucky, firm and her partner, Thomas McGee, never expected a stream of shoppers at their tiny factory during the pandemic. But people were cooking more at home and wanted to support local businesses. They’d show up while the owners, the only employees, were trying to fill online orders. There was little or no time to also take care of in-person customers.