A new 24-hour "ATM" in Los Angeles is holding late-night sugar cravings at bay by dispensing cupcakes instead of money.
Sprinkles in Beverly Hills started the cupcake craze back
in 2005, and now it's reigniting the frenzy with its new cupcake ATM. This pink vending machine, located next door
to the shop, makes the designer cute cakes ($4 each) readily available to the
snack-hungry masses 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It makes sense that Sprinkles
founder Candace Nelson, the woman who came up with the idea of the world's
first cupcake-only bakery, was the one with the foresight to realise the value of
24-hour cupcake accessibility. "I was pregnant with my second child and I
thought, I'm the owner of a cupcake bakery and even I can't get a cupcake in
the middle of the night."
Cupcake fiends can choose from eight
flavours, which include popular Sprinkles signatures like Red Velvet and
Chocolate Marshmallow, as well as special flavours of the day. Once the request
is submitted via the machine's touchscreen and a credit card swiped (the
machine doesn't actually accept cash), a robotic arm retrieves the individually
boxed cupcake. The entire journey from shelf to dispenser door is captured by video
camera and displayed on the screen. However, the machine only handles one item
per transaction, making it more suited to satisfying spontaneous cravings
rather than supplying cupcake parties.
Since the vending machine, which
holds 600 cupcakes, dispensed about 1,000 cakes a day when it first opened in
March and continues to attract a 50-people long queue today (even when the
cupcakery is open), there's never any danger of receiving a stale cupcake. And
the flavours never run out as the bakers work from 2 am to 12 am every day to
keep the machine stocked.
There are also vegan and gluten-free
cupcakes, doggie cupcakes, cupcake mixes and apparel for sale through the
The cupcake ATM in Beverly Hills is
the first of 10 slated to open at Sprinkles' locations in cities like New York
City, Washington DC and Chicago. The Beverly Hills location also
just opened an ice cream shop, Sprinkles
Ice Cream, which features red velvet waffle cones and ice-cream sandwiches
made with cupcake tops.