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Some operators are offering micro markets to expand their business offerings while others are implementing more promotions, coupons and discounts. For years operators have been trying new things in order to appeal to a larger number of locations. It is my belief that when operators begin offering additional business features, they open their company up to new partnerships and a wider network.
Andre Bramwell, founder of Candyman Vending located in Houston, TX, has proven my belief that vending is only as limited as the imagination. Bramwell entered vending in 2010, during a time when many operators were in the midst of leaving. Since then he has been able to turn his love of music, design and vending into a unique business enterprise that has many people vying for his business. Bramwell designs and manufactures customized vending machines for music artists in the world of rap.
How did he do it?
Four years ago, Bramwell began with bulk vending and a few gumball machines, but moved to full-line soda and snack vending just six months later and changed his company’s name to Candyman Vending and now provides traditional vending to schools and businesses around the Houston, TX area. But that’s not all.
Bramwell came up with the idea to join the worlds of vending and music late last year when he saw a Twitter post that a local Texas independent rap artist was looking for promotional products for a video shoot. “I have always enjoyed designing and creating and I wanted to do something fun and new with my business,” said Bramwell. So he worked to create a customized vending machine for the artist.
Now, Bramwell has created business partnerships with several prominent rappers over the last several years, including his most recent partnership with rapper Riff Raff, also known as Jody Highroller. Since then Bramwell has had over 200 orders for these customized machines.
Custom machine designs
The Riff Raff vending machines design went through ten different drafts that took a few months to get right, explained Bramwell. “The concept was to surround the design around his debut album “Neon Icon”. He wanted the album cover on one side of the machine and I took those colors and just let my imagination carry on for the rest of the machine design. We wanted bright, fluorescent colors since it is a neon theme and could stand out and be appealing,” he said. The Riff Raff machine sells for $4,500 and has been profiled by LA Weekly.
Bramwell started designing and manufacturing custom machines just late last year because he wanted to venture from the traditional ways of vending and do something that would be fun and different for his business and involve the music/hip hop culture. “Custom machines with graphics have been around but I just gave it a new twist,” he said. “I did not want to limit my business growth to just focusing on new accounts in my area, so now the options I have are limitless from custom machines, promotions, merchandise partnerships with artists, etc.”