Some grocery stores are running short on eggs, so farmers are finding ingenious ways to take their eggs straight to the customer.

By Isadora Baum
May 04, 2020
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As shelter-in-place requirements continue in some cities and states, and restaurants remain shuttered, people are becoming more comfortable in their kitchens. Cooking meals at home each night has become not only a great form of relaxation, but also the smart and monetarily wise thing to do during this time.

And due to the ever-growing demand for shelf-stable products, pantry staples, and other meat and dairy essentials, you've probably visited the store a few times and found shelves cleared of all eggs. So, what do you do if you're really craving scrambled eggs on toast or a veggie-and-cheese frittata on a lazy Sunday morning?

You could wait and hope that eggs will come back in stock the next time you're there, or you could try a new super convenient and novel option — eggs in a vending machine. These eggs-on-demand machines carry eggs from local farms, which helps helps farmers clear their supply and eaters get their egg fix.

Wise
Wise Acre Farm/Tiffany Holbrook

A farm in Windsor, California is doing just that. Owner Tiffany Holbrook set up a a vending machine at Wise Acre Farms as a go-to place for neighbors to get fresh eggs in 2016. Today, it also helps people get their eggs while still abiding by social distancing rules.

"It's nice, because it's sanitary," Tiffany Holbrook, the owner of Wise Acre Farms, told SonomaMag.com. "I actually did have someone tell me that they're never going to buy grocery store eggs after she watched a woman touch every single egg and then put it back onto the shelf," she continued.

Innovative ideas like an egg vending machine not only help stimulate the economy and protect small businesses, but they also allow consumers access to food outside of an already-stressed food supply system.

The egg vending area on Wise Acre Farm in Sonoma, Calif., decorated for the holidays.
Wise Acre Farm/Tiffany Holbrook

"This farm is such a positive thing in the community, and people see that," Holdbrook told SonomaMag.com. "The business is owned by myself and my husband, and we're all about keeping money in the local economy."

The Wise Acre Farms vending machine is restocked daily at 8 p.m. with brand new, washed eggs that were laid just that day. You can use card or cash at the vending machine and get a carton of a dozen eggs. How easy is that?

Glaum Egg Ranch in Aptos, Calif. also supports an egg "vendor" machine at their Barn Store.

Another fun version of the egg vending machine was spotted from Instagram user @mummy_barrow. This one allows you to insert money, select the eggs you want with a door number, and then open the door to retrieve your haul.

From a quick Instagram hashtag search, it appears egg vending machines are far more common (though still rare and exciting sightings) in England and Japan. America may be finding that COVID-19 concerns gives farmers a real reason to play catch up with this unique egg-dispersal method.