Mom builds new business by selling healthy snacks

Jennifer Bochnik is pictured with one of her vending machines.

When Jennifer Bochnik moved from Hong Kong to Palmetto Bay in the summer of 2009 with her husband and three teenagers, she seriously considered getting back into a full-time job.

“But I learned very quickly how demanding it is in South Florida to get three teenagers where they needed to be every day, so that’s when I began looking into starting my own business,” Bochnok said.

After looking at various franchises and other businesses, she found an opportunity that was just right, and today

Jenn’s Healthy Vending is up and running. Jenn’s Healthy Vending uses brand new, state of the art vending machines produced by Naturals2Go that can offer a wide variety of products including trail mix, fruits and nuts, protein bars, fruit juices, energy drinks and teas.

She currently has machines placed in a Coconut Grove hotel and a bank in Coral Gables and is meeting with prospective customers

“The people I have met with have been very receptive to the concept of offering healthier options to their staff and customers, although I have to admit the demand for chocolate remains steady,” Bochnik said.

She targets businesses that have staff of 50 or more or that will place a machine where customers have access — and with summer winding down, she is also calling on schools as the school year gets underway.

“I know from experience that the products offered in my children’s schools are not the types of products that most parents would like to see their children eating on a regular basis. I’m hoping to offer some healthy options as an alternative.”

Bochnik’s passion to offer healthy alternatives comes not only from being a mother of three. She is a former yoga instructor who still regularly practices yoga and tries to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“Returning to America after 10 years in Asia, it was quite a shock to see just how much fast food and prepared foods are available. It’s easy to see how someone can get in the habit of making poor choices when so much is available. I’m hoping to change some of that.”

The way securing a machine works is: Once a company expresses interest in a machine, Jennifer will meet with them and bring sample products and work with the company to create a menu together.

“So far, my clients have selected a good mix of the usual products you find in typical vending machines along with some healthier alternatives. For example, I recommend offering baked chips and trail mix instead of or in addition to your usual fried snacks and I recommend teas and vitamin water in addition to soft drinks — and the reception has been very positive.”

The machines also come with an option for a side tray that provides another 14 selections and these are typically light meals.

“Where clients have a break room with a microwave, I can offer noodles, soups, oatmeal, and other light meals that staff can enjoy when they can’t get out of the office.”

The machines take cash, credit and debit cards and typically can be delivered and up and running in just a few days. There is no cost to clients and Jenn’s Healthy Vending fills and services the machines.

Asked whether she has employees, Jennifer replied, “Only if my husband and children count! My husband helps with the books and my kids help me install and fill the machines, but I do all the client calling and product purchasing myself — which I really enjoy.”

Anyone interested in obtaining a machine for their school or office can contact Bochnik directly at

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