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Oct 29, 2023

Lee Belote/Freelance

My Best Friend's Cupcakes recently put a vending kiosk in Lynnhaven Mall and the Norfolk Prime Outlets. The machine sells gourmet dog cupcakes, muffins and cakes for man's best friend.

Lee Belote/Freelance

Pictured is a Uniqlo vending machine in a New York airport that sells packable down jackets. Nowadays, vending machines sell almost anything. In the same airport, other machines sold perfume, beauty accessories and electronics.

We live in a convenient world. Almost everything is right at our fingertips, and vending machines are following this trend, too.

During my most recent visit to New York, I saw a Uniqlo vending kiosk in the airport selling packable down jackets. I did a double-take because the high-ticket item cost $69.

I had actually visited Uniqlo, a clothing store during my weekend getaway. I wondered who would shell out that much money for a jacket without trying it on first. I also saw other vending machines for perfume, beauty accessories and electronic items.

I remember when I first saw a cupcake ATM by Sprinkles in New York City. I loved the creative idea, but I’m a baked goods snob. I prefer to purchase my sweets freshly baked in a cute little corner bakery in SoHo. My vending tastes are pretty basic and old school. I stick with soft drinks and a bag of peanut M&Ms.

Even though I’m not a huge vending machine consumer, I can certainly appreciate all the options out there and applaud the strategic marketing efforts. Just when I thought I had seen every vending category, I was surprised about a new one at Lynnhaven Mall. You can find a gourmet treat at this vending kiosk near Champs and Old Navy. However, you won't be nibbling on any of these cute snacks while shopping.

These treats are for your best friend at home, your dog. In May, My Best Friend's Cupcakes placed vending kiosks at Lynnhaven Mall and Norfolk Premium Outlets.

There's quite a large selection that would please any furry friend with prices ranging from $2.50 for a cupcake to $22 for a tennis ball cake. Cupcake flavors come in fun flavors such as peanut butter banana, sweet potato pie or apple cinnamon. You can also find blueberry paw and apple cheddar bone muffins.

The machine is refrigerated to ensure fresh products for your pet and has an easy touch-screen shop to make ordering easy. If you need something custom or want the product delivered to your home, you can go to

Dillon Jacobs, My Best Friend's Cupcakes spokesperson, said the company chose to create a vending kiosk because many of their customers were asking the home-based company for a storefront. The self-serve kiosk was their creative solution to this request.

Obviously, you can't bring your dog to the mall for a day of shopping. However, My Best Friend's Cupcakes has found a convenient way to bring home a dog treat or a doggie bag alongside your other shopping bags.

Lee Belote is a Bay Island resident who loves writing about her hometown. Reach her at [email protected] with any great stories, local happenings or new hot spots.

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