Vending in the UK has its origins in the farming sector. Farmers needed to sell off excess milk and eggs, and used vending machines located in towns and villages, to sell their wares.
Westomatic Vending Services Ltd was founded in 1966 by Mr and Mrs Brinsley. The company originally established its reputation as a refurbisher of vending machines, supplying and distributing automatic vending machines and ingredients and support services throughout the Southern counties of the UK, primarily to the tourist industry. These machines sold eggs, milk and a range of food and drinks to the hungry tourists.
The current Managing Director, Richard Brinsley, joined his father and mother in the family company in May 1966, when it was based at the original premises in St Leonard’s Road, Newton Abbot, Devon.
The company grew during the 1970s, refurbishing and supplying a wide range of vending machines, for a growing market.
The machine on the left is an original Vendpac Challenger.
In the middle is an original egg vending machine, rescued from a local Devon farm. Covered in chicken feathers and straw when it was delivered to the factory in the 1970s, Westomatic’s skilled craftsmen restored it to its former glory!
An original Arco machine that came to Westomatic from the Arc Royal. Westomatic restored the machine for posterity, refurbishing all the original parts to full working order.
On the far right is the first Riviera production machine we ever built, serial number 00001. To the left of that is an Original Temprano, built in 1989.
The insides of the blue machine on the left were re-built in the 1980s, by a youthful Darrin Rockett, our current Helpdesk supervisor.
In 1987 in addition to just supplying vending machines the company started to manufacture its own vending machines at a purpose built manufacturing plant based in Newton Abbot, Devon.
A wide range of machines was developed, from coffee, tea and snack vending to water chillers and healthy vending machines.
During the 1990s, Westomatic's Temprano and Riviera models both won awards for innovation and established Westomatic’s reputation as a leader in vending machine design and innovation.
In 1992 Westomatic completed the design of its own brewer mechanism which was incorporated into all new freshbrew machines from September of that year. This enabled the company to start producing vending machines that offered a much higher quality of fresh brew tea and coffee than its competitors.
In 1998 five acres of land was purchased, adjacent to the existing site, to enable the company to extend the factory to provide a world class manufacturing plant for the new millennium.
Westomatic made a £4 million investment in the building, new plant and equipment. The new building extension and refurbishment surpasses the minimum standards for thermal and acoustic installation, with the new process plant meeting all environmental legislation, as well as incorporating new features such as a data acquisition system to monitor energy consumption and improve operation efficiency.
A new conveyor system was put in place on the production line and a new state-of-the-art environmentally friendly paint plant installed.
In 2000, the front of the building was extensively redeveloped to house a first class showroom and training suites for customers and employees.
2001 saw the successful launch of a new range of drinks vending machines at the AVEX 2001 Exhibition in London. These incorporated innovative features such as the market-leading monitoring and measurement system, SIMM Logic, and energy saving electrical and microprocessor systems.
Also in 2001, Westomatic partnered with an Italian supplier, FAS, to launch a new range of eco-friendly snack vending machines called SnackTime.
2001 ended on a high note for Westomatic with the company making a clean sweep at the first ever BT Innovation Awards. The SIMM Logic system was voted Vending Innovation of the year 2001, with the new Espresso Café machine gaining a special commendation in the New Vending Concept category.
Success continued during the decade, with the launch of two new table top bean to cup drink vending machines, the Prelude and the Primo, in 2007.
In January 2009 Westomatic went on the road, with an innovative series of customer roadshows. The company's own fleet of delivery trucks transported vending machines to separate locations throughout the UK, accompanied by a complete technical and sales entourage. Over 25 customer companies attended over three weeks, with over 80 engineers completing fully certified training. Many customers brought their entire operating team for training, with 100 individual route operators and operations managers getting up-close and personal with the new Westomatic range.
In May 2009 Westomatic launched a new logo, new website, new parts warranty scheme and a range of new customer care initiatives. In addition, the company showcased its full range of vending machines at AVEX 2009 in June, along with new business and corporate branding for the workplace, a new 12oz retail version of the Sigma hot beverage machine and a new retail coffee tower concept.