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Denver Great Minds™

A social group for networkers and leaders

Pizza Vending Machines Now In Denver

One amazing thing to come out of the COVID shutdown is convenience and no-contact service. The first vending machine came about during 1st century AD from Roman Egypt and was invented by the Roman mathematician and engineer, Hero of Alexandria. The first modern coin-operated vending machines were introduced in London, England in the early 1880s, dispensing postcards. The machine was invented by Percival Everitt in 1883 and soon became a widespread feature at railway stations and post offices, dispensing envelopes, postcards, and notepaper. The concept later became England’s popular way of selling cigarettes and snuff. Today, vending machines are everywhere, selling a variety of goods. From soda and snacks and candy to cannabis and even makeup, The era for fast and contact-free is now, more than ever. It has entrepreneurs thinking more creatively and customers are benefiting from it.

So what if you could get a hot, Italian-style pizza from one of these convenient machines, in just about 3 minutes? It’s happening right here in Denver, right now. And we’re among the first cities in the nation to have one.


In 2016, Deglin Kenealy, CEO of Basil Street Pizza, began the process of creating an automated pizza kitchen (APK) in California, with consistency and high-quality pies in mind. It wasn’t until his daughter went off to college that the business became personal. “I saw this as a huge market. Where you can get a higher quality product, a better price in a much faster time frame, right?,” Kenealy said.

Davide Garbin explains how the automated pizza kitchen works at The Celtic on Market on Monday, July 12. (Ashley Carter, The Denver Post)


Obviously when I discovered this was a thing in Denver, you know I had to share this news with you. As a pizza-dependent human, I have a responsibility to share this news.

Davide Garbin holds up a buffalo chicken pizza that was dispensed from the Basil Street Pizza vending machine at The Celtic on Market on July 12. (Ashley Carter, The Denver Post)


Certified

The company just earned a National Sanitation Foundation certification, permitting APKs in more locations nationwide, including university campuses, airports and other public spaces, Kenealy said.

“I believe we are the only company ever to receive NSF and UL certification in having a from-frozen to fully cooked, (in a) completely, you know, unmanned operation,” he said. Basil Street Pizza’s automated kitchen in Denver is one of 50 cook-to-order pizza vending machines to roll out in the United States this year. (The company tested the machines in California and Texas in 2020.) The APK’s serve 10-inch, thin-crust pizzas, completely microwave-free. “We’re not trying to stop you from going to your favorite pizza place,” Kenealy said, “but if you want, really, a delicious pizza in a short amount of time, we feel like we’ve really hit the nail on the head with that.” Basil Street pizzas are made with locally sourced ingredients such as a four-cheese blend of mozzarella, parmesan, asiago and romano; vine-ripened tomatoes; and extra virgin olive oil. Each order comes with a box designed to be quickly folded and then carried away, along with a plastic pizza cutter wheel.


Flavors

With its many rotating flavors to choose from — including the classics such as cheese, pepperoni and supreme — these futuristic vending machines are redefining take-out, the company asserts. Basil Street Pizza’s patented oven technology turns frozen pies to hot and fresh out the oven, and you can be amongst the first to devour it.


Pizza prices range from $12 to $15, and can be purchased with a debit or credit card, Apple Pay, Android and Samsung Pay.


APK, inside The Celtic on Market, 1400 Market St., Denver; 303-484-1066. The Celtic is open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. basilstreetpizza.com

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