What you need to think about

Everything looks great, you are ready. See below the things to consider

Diversifying Your Business

Having vending machines is one way to diversify and it can be a significant opportunity to broaden the income stream, provide positive pr for the business and extend the reach and connectivity of the business. However it shouldn’t be taken lightly and imagining that a vending machine is a box that other people fill with money can be misleading. It requires retail skills quite different from the norm and a daily time commitment.

A great start is to evaluate your current business position.

Carry out research

Time spent researching is extremely valuable. Online searches and event show attendance can be a great way to get a feel for whether it will work in your location. Looking for positive and negative feedback and opinion will increase confidence. Use our interactive map(link) to see visit someone near you which can give you a picture of whats involved

Undertake a feasibility budget

It’s important to know there is the potential to make money from your venture.  Are the upfront costs prohibitive? Are the projected profits positive? Is the profit from turnover acceptable?  These are important questions to answer before investing.

Prepare a business plan

Having a plan has huge benefits at the start, recording your ideas. Helps determine goals and targets. Useful for financial support where needed. It will change and evolve as your venture grows

Tangible and Intangible commitments

Do not underestimate what is involved.  Buying a milk station is both an investment of money and time.  You will need to dedicate as much energy to the maintenance and upkeep of the machine itself as to all other aspects of the business, such as marketing.  Social media can be a particularly powerful tool in this – even if you have never engaged in Facebook or Instagram on a personal level, it can be hugely instrumental in connecting your business to your local community.

Pre Requisites

Anyone buying a milk vending machine should consider what is required before they are able to sell milk. You should contact your local Environmental Health Officer for approval and licensing to enable you to get started.

Below highlights the the areas of importance to your EHO arming you with the knowledge in advance of that initial contact.

Raw Milk

Many farms can produce Raw Milk but approval to sell can be difficult to gain.A number of additional requirements are necessary.
  • The herd is healthy and free of brucellosis and tuberculosis
  • The farm complies with hygiene rules and has twice yearly inspections
  • All appropriate Raw Milk health warnings are displayed
  • Ensure food safety standards by twice yearly samples and tests

HACCP

You will need a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Plan(HACCP) in place. This creates a tailored plan on the risk areas of getting milk from the cow to the consumer. Consider how to remove risks and what actions will be taken if things go wrong. Contamination of milk with harmful bacteria being a particular focus. The FSA have an online tool to create your your HACCP.

Pasteurised milk

Will need you to have a food grade pasteuriser. Your EHO will require you to have a separate un-compromised clean milk handling room for your pasteuriser.
  • Adequate light, ventilation and drainage
  • Handwashing  facilities and toilets including hot and cold water
  • Maintained, disinfected easy clean walls, ceiling and flooring
  • Openings and equipments must be in good order and easy cleanable

General food law

When selling milk, general food law applies. You will need to register the business with your local authority at least 28 days in advance of you starting trading. You should also familiarise yourself with some of the food hygiene questionnaires that can be done online.

Location of your Milkstation

Where will it be ?

Indoor or outdoor, can impact the shelter needs considerably. And also impact how power can be supplied to the unit itself. Also needs to be filled.

Customer parking and access
Provisions are needed to make sure your customers can reach your milkstation, park safely and enjoy their purchase

What is the surface ?

Our machines are hardy beasts but will perform best on a good solid surface. Not forgetting this will be better for your customers too.

Our team has installed many many milkstations in a variety of environments. This means you can take advantage of this. Milk the team of all they know

Want to know more ….

We have learnt a lot and our goal is to share this knowledge with you, arming you with an understanding of whats involved. We can help with so much more

Address
The Milk Station Company,
North Lodge
Wells BA5 3DP

Call
01749 681381