LET’S SNACK HEALTHY TOGETHER—Andrea Barber, owner of My Three Sons Vending, prepares to replace items in her vending machine located at the Kingsley Association in East Liberty. (Photo by Diane I. Daniels)

Andrea Barber, the proprietor of My Three Sons Vending, has one request of her patrons.

Please don’t kick her vending machines.

As she prepares to invest at least $16,000 in several machines her goal is to take good care of her investment. Kicking and or abusing the machines, she says, is like harming one of her three sons. As a single parent, that does not fit well with her.

My Three Sons Vending is Barber’s way of filling the gap of the lack of healthy foods in some communities. Items sold in the machines include kettle-cooked chips, whole wheat crackers, trail mix, dried fruits, gluten free fruit snacks and organic cookies, all ranging from 25 cents to $1.75.

“In the future, I plan to expand the menu to sandwich wraps, fresh fruits, yogurt, smoothies and pumas,” she said, noting that the items will be priced up to $6.50. “I want people to know if they eat healthy on the run that they will feel better and that it makes a great impact on their life.”

One of her goals is to sell locally-grown and produced products.

In 2015 Barber started the business with a gumball machine. She used it as a way to assist her oldest son who has a disability. “I wanted him to be able to count and think critically and logically.” Also, she said, as a single mom she did not want to have to work multiple jobs leaving her children in situations where they might get sucked into the street life. “Being an entrepreneur provides me with a flexible schedule as well as the opportunity to include them and teach them about business.”

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