New Pizza Vending Machine Debuts

July 21, 2023
Missouri Valley College

The Midwest’s first pizza vending machine, located on the campus of Missouri Valley College, will be belting out hot and tasty three-minute pies for students and the public on Saturday, July 22.

The machine, which offers a variety of pizza as well as cookies, was unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday.

Liz Huff of Catalpa Restaurant in Arrow Rock, Mo., is the owner, and she selected MVC for the first machine in the eight-state area. She is busy making hundreds of pizzas to keep the machine stocked.

“It’s going to be pretty popular,” Huff told the crowd on Friday. “I can’t wait for the students to arrive and experience this.”

She and Missouri Valley College’s new president, Dr. Joe Parisi, actually cooked up the idea in the spring when Huff was a speaker for the Maastricht Institute on the MVC campus.

Just a couple of months after that initial discussion, a kiosk-type machine that is about the size of an ATM has arrived all the way from France.

“Our students are going to eat this up,” Parisi said. “Liz Huff is such a true entrepreneur and she is modeling that for us in our school of business. I think we’re going to see these machines popping up all over the Midwest very soon.”

Huff said the machine stores up to 96 pizzas in a refrigerated zone. When an order comes in via a Smart Pizza mobile app or directly keyed in at the front of the machine, a 12-inch pizza moves into one of the two ovens that fires up to close to 700 degrees.

She and her company, Lot-za Pizza, plan all the varieties of pizza one could imagine, and of course, will come up with special promotional pies as well. President Parisi is pushing for double pepperoni with some bacon. Or maybe taco pizza or buffalo chicken.

Huff said she will hold contests on the campus to engage teams, groups, and organizations.