Since its debut two weeks ago, a bright orange vending machine in West Hollywood has become all the rage.
It has stood as the background for selfies, splashed on Instagrams and landed on the sets of late night-jokesters Chelsea Handler and Jimmy Kimmel.
It's a RedBox-like kiosk with an EVOL streak that has also garnered the attention of retailers and universities across the nation.
In a Mobil station off Santa Monica Boulevard sits the Burrito Box, a touchscreen-enabled machine that heats and dispenses the handheld tortilla-bundled food and sides such as guacamole, sour cream and hot sauce in 60 seconds.
The more than 200 all-natural burritos inside the machine are all made by Boulder-based EVOL Foods.
The locally based maker of burritos and frozen foods inked an arrangement with Los Angeles-based startup The Box Brands to serve as the exclusive supplier of burritos for the Burrito Box. Financial terms were not disclosed, but both firms say that the relationship is expected to continue as Burrito Box expands.
"It's one more feather in the cap," said Andrew Jaffe, a spokesman for EVOL Foods, which recently was acquired by Boulder Brands Inc. for $48 million. "(EVOL Foods' vision is to be) on the forefront of democratizing healthier food and making it more accessible for consumers."
After being approached by Denis Koci, a co-developer of the Burrito Box concept, EVOL Foods officials enthusiastically jumped on board, Jaffe said. The convenience-focused product, the brand and the potential for "disruption" in the marketplace all hit the right notes, he said.
"For us, it was quite turnkey," Jaffe said. "We didn't really have to create a new offering."
Chilling inside the Burrito Box are different varieties of EVOL Foods' butcher paper-wrapped burritos, which the company sells to convenience stores and others with grab-and-go cases.
When a customer selects a burrito and any optional sides on the Burrito Box touchscreen, the machine heats the desired burrito to the necessary temperature. Sixty seconds later, the wrapped EVOL burrito and any accompanying sides are dispensed in the tray below in a small orange bag.
The burritos cost $3 a piece and customers can add sides of Wholly Guacamole for 75 cents, Tabasco hot sauce for 65 cents and Daisy sour cream for 50 cents.
The average transaction at the Burrito Box is under $4, said Koci, co-founder of the Box Brands.
"For me, the goal here was to make this available to the everyday person, something that could be available for their everyday lives," he said.
The Burrito Box, which was designed by automated retail company AVT Inc., is the first concept from the Box Brands.
"I think we all wish we were living in the future, with flying cars and jet packs," he said. "We didn't get the other stuff and we love the idea of automated hot, delicious food."
After Koci installed the first Burrito Box at the West Hollywood Mobil station a couple days prior to the New Year, it didn't take long for him to realize others shared the sentiments.
On the Burrito Box's first day, he saw customers take photos in front of the machine and post videos online.
"That gave me a little idea of what could potentially be possible," he said.
The buzz grew last week with Koci receiving calls from national media outlets and TV shows such as "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" The machine sold out of its 200-burrito stock last Tuesday.
The feedback only helps to fuel the fire of expansion plans that will start with a second Burrito Box in Century City, Calif., and in the next six months involve Burrito Boxes in additional California markets, Las Vegas and Texas.
Colorado and Boulder, Koci added, remains high on the list not just for EVOL's home base.
Mentioning Colorado's recently adopted recreational marijuana laws, Koci said he frequently is told the concept could help to satisfy any munchies.
"We have heard two things. One is that everybody thinks were a company out of Colorado," he said, giving a laugh. "The second is they say we have to bring it to Colorado because it'll make so much money."
Contact Camera Business Writer Alicia Wallace at 303-473-1332 or firstname.lastname@example.org