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Jackson Brothers of the South

Navigating Changes in Taste and Tech for the Break Room

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When it comes to taking a break, whether for a snack or lunch, it’s not always feasible for an employee to leave the premises. But staying hydrated and well fed is important to safety and productivity. Since 1998, locally owned Jackson Brothers of the South has been serving Springfield companies by providing fresh food, drinks, and snacks through vending machines, coffee services, and more recently, micro markets, which offer healthier options than more traditional vending. 


A row of vending machines is a fairly familiar sight in a company’s break room, but with the introduction of the micro markets Jackson Brothers has taken break room vending to an entirely new plane. “We're providing food and beverage to our customer but we've removed the traditional vending machines”, says CEO Darwin Bickford. 


Arranged like a miniature convenience store, these micro markets offer a wide variety of meal and snack options, including healthy options like fresh sandwiches and salads prepared locally by Jackson Brothers of the South. “We can provide a wider variety of salads, sandwiches, and wraps in the micro markets than we ever could in traditional vending machines because of the additional space”, says Bickford.  The micro markets also have seasonal menus and several items are rotated on a bi-weekly basis to provide customers with a wide variety of choices. The markets can even be customized according to employee preferences. Offering employees on-campus options for healthy meals and snacks can provide a boost in company morale, not to mention employee health and productivity. 


Technology and public preference has changed the break room landscape dramatically in the last decade. Once upon a time you could grab some change and find a machine or two in the hopes of snagging some candy, chips, or a soda. But with fewer people carrying cash and more people leaning towards health conscious food choices, those days are long gone. Now, people expect machines that are equipped with credit card readers and offer fresh and healthy options in addition to the mainstays of candy, chips, and soda. 


Through technological advances, customers can not only pay with a credit or debit card but also have the option of registering with the company to get a fob to swipe or even use their thumbprint to automatically draft from a pre-paid account, taking self-checkout to the next level.  


In addition to all these advances in vending, Jackson Brothers of the South also offers office coffee services and has a full service catering arm, Infused Catering, headed by Jill Barron. In addition to full service catering for weddings, corporate events, and family celebrations, Infused Catering also offers to go catering, to go lunch boxes, fruit and vegetable trays and even has a portable smoker/grill for on-site grilling. 


With a motto of “Quality you can see…freshness you can taste…service you can trust!” Jackson Brothers of the South takes pride in providing customized vending services and serving locally made quality foods for any type of business or event. 


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