Unmanned farm shop at petrol station is a hit

Buying fresh vegetables, fruit, eggs and dairy products immediately after filling up the car… All this can be done in one go, 24 hours a day, at the unmanned petrol station on the Franseweg in Steenbergen. This is where  an unmanned farm shop was established on 30 March as well, which sells fresh local produce. It seems to be a hit, as it is already being used to great effect.

The initiators are Boerderij Luysterburg from Heerle and vending machine manufacturer Innovend from Oud-Gastel. A year ago, they opened the very first unmanned farm shop in Roosendaal. ‘The product range is the same and so are the vending machines, but otherwise there are big differences,’ explains Sander Sciarone of Innovend. ‘The present location is about 25 square metres in size, while the shop in Roosendaal, with its 80 square metres, is considerably larger. Moreover, the latter is located in a shopping centre, Tolbergcentrum, and we think a very different type of customer comes there from the one we have here. We are going to learn a lot from this.’

Stop and shop

The new shop is located on an access road to Steenbergen and is easily accessible. The petrol station attracts many customers and there are plenty of parking spaces. ‘It’s easy: fill up your car and do some shopping right away. But people can also stop and shop there on their way to or from home. From the surrounding neighbourhoods it’s easy to get there by bike or on foot too.’

The product range is complete: fresh produce from local farmers. ‘And everything in one place. So you no longer have to go into the polder and visit several farms. What’s also convenient is that you can visit the shop any time, at a time that suits you, because no staff are needed.’

Innovend’s dispensing solutions allow customers to grab the groceries themselves and pay for them. Food Zuply’s own line is ideally suited for this kind of unmanned fresh food shop.


The Luysterburg family has been working with Innovend’s professional solutions for about five years. ‘We are very pleased with them, with the vending machines and the service,’ Ellen Luysterburg told us in April 2021 at the opening of the fresh food shop in Roosendaal. ‘They are mega-inventive and constantly working to make things smarter and more user-friendly, for us and for customers. The lockers are dummy-proof; anyone can work with them. As easy as pie, from the vending machine.’

Ellen takes care of purchasing and the product range, while Sander, with his vending machines, ensures that customers can buy and grab the products themselves. The products are replenished daily – or even several times a day. ‘I can see stock levels on the computer and therefore decide in time to make an extra trip to the shop,’ says Ellen.

As with the farm shop in Heerle and the one in Roosendaal, customers in Steenbergen can order or reserve products in advance. ‘Then we give them a code, which they can use to open their compartment, take out the groceries and pay by card. We make it as easy and user-friendly as possible.’

New earnings model for farmers

‘We can properly compare the two shops and, based on the experiences, soon offer one or more elaborate concepts to customers,’ Sander says, already looking ahead. He has an ideal: helping farmers with a new and interesting earnings model. ‘Through what we learn in Roosendaal and Steenbergen – what works best, what do consumers want and how can you respond to that – we want to develop a turnkey solution that allows farmers from all over the country to get an additional sales channel and increase their sales.’

Because, he knows, ‘Selling direct to consumers, locally and with a short chain, this trend will continue over the next few years. Responding to people’s needs: fresh and healthy products, from their own region.’

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