The closest thing to the food replicator on “Star Trek” or the Food-a-Rac-a-Cycle used by “The Jetsons” sits inside a West Hollywood Mobil gas station on Santa Monica Boulevard.
It’s called Burrito Box, and it was created by West Hollywood’s three-year-old Box Brands. It is an automated food kiosk that cooks made-to-order burritos in under a minute. The $3 burritos come with different fillings, such as chorizo sausage with eggs and cheese, free-range chicken and shredded beef. Condiments like hot sauce, guacamole and sour cream are extra.
The first machine opened earlier this month, and the company’s second machine was set to open in Century City last weekend.
“Burritos have become very sexy. It’s not where it was in 1995,” said Denis Koci, Box Brand’s 28-year-old chief executive. “It’s an all-American food and a popular on-the-go product.”
Koci would not reveal how the machine was able to prepare bespoke burritos other than to say they were not frozen and were cooked using steam. His machines are manufactured by Corona’s AVT Inc. and serves the burritos that were made by Boulder, Colo.’s Evol Foods.
For now, Box Brands owns it machines and pays the gas station for placement by the front door. Koci, who said he was out raising money for a national expansion, said he’s open to other business models as the company grows.
“When we launched, we had a $1,500 marketing budget and it’s still sitting in the bank,” Koci said. “The burrito box has captivated the imagination of people hoping that we’re living in the future right now.”
– Justin Yang
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