Meat vending machine serves raw cuts and late-night snacks in Florida
TAMPA, Florida (WFLA) – A meat vending machine outside a Florida butcher shop and restaurant offers fresh cuts, Italian sausage, and meat snacks 24/7.
Growing up, Andrew Tambuzzo, owner of the butcher and restaurant Boozy Pig in Tampa, learned how to make Italian sausages from his paternal grandfather, who owned a small grocery store in Ybor City. He would help his mother’s side of the family make sausages when he was not at school during summer vacation or for Christmas.
“My family has been making Italian sausages for about 100 years in the region,” Tambuzzo said.
Using this knowledge and what he learned later in life about meat processing on his hunting and fishing trips, he opened the Boozy Pig. The location is a whole animal butcher shop with an adjacent restaurant that not only uses meats but produces things like lard to make cookies or beef fat for use in a deep fryer.
Tambuzzo also sources from local family farms that raise their protein ethically.
The most unique thing about the location, however, is the meat vending machine, which was installed in March.
The machine, which takes debit, credit, Apple Pay, or Google Pay, is filled with “all kinds of stuff,” including beef jerky and raw meats such as bacon, pork, Italian sausage, and beef. chopped, Tambuzzo said. It also offers different types of burgers and different cuts of steak, he added.
Sometimes you can even grab a Cuban Boozy Pig sandwich from the vending machine, for a late night snack. Their offerings vary depending on what’s in store.
For those nervous about trying any of Boozy Pig’s meats, especially at a vending machine parked outside in hot, sunny Florida, Tambuzzo assures visitors that the machine is very “smart.” And that there is no need to worry.
“There are sensors inside that regulate the temperature. It remains between 33 and 38 degrees. Of course it goes into its own cycles where it can get a little higher than that, ”he said. “But there are also safety features, so if the temperature goes over 41 degrees and stays above for 20 minutes, it turns off and it won’t sell.”
Instead of glass, the front of the machine is made of plexiglass, which does not reflect the heat of the sun inside. It is also designed so that no insects or rainwater enter the machine.
Tambuzzo said the response to the machine was well received in the community.
“For the most part, people have never seen anything like it. I get quite a few people who want to take a picture in front of him or a number of people who want to buy something, even though we’re open and the same product is available inside, ”he said. “They love the novelty of it.”
There aren’t many, if any, of these meat vending machines in Florida, or even the country, he said. The closest known to Tambuzzo are in Rochester, New York.
Tambuzzo is hoping Boozy Pig can get more from those meat vending machines in the Tampa Bay area.
“We would like to see more in town. We would really like to expand our footprint and exposure to bring more quality protein into the community, ”he said.
Tambuzzo believes his grandfather would feel honored to see him continue to make sausages and continue to grow as a business, even if that means expanding into the vending machine category.
“I think he would laugh about it,” Tambuzzo said. “I think he would probably tell me to pour him some scotch and have us sit down and laugh and talk about it.” I think he would be very proud. I think he would be tickled.
Although the butcher shop and the Boozy Pig restaurant are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, the meat distributor remains open 24/7.