Market within a business a healthy option for workers

ARLINGTON – An Arlington business recently became the latest in Northwest Washington to introduce a new concept, Micro Markets, into its break room.

Senior Aerospace AMT, a manufacturer of structural parts for jet manufacturers including Boeing, contracted with B&P Micro Markets of Bellingham to install a Micro Market in the employee lunchroom. The Micro Market offers hundreds of choices, including fresh food, snacks and beverages. The concept offers workers more variety, with fresher and healthier food, at no cost to the company.

Technology advances make Micro Markets both convenient and secure. Employees pay for their purchases at a self-service kiosk with credit or debit cards, cash loaded on a market card, Apple Pay or even their fingerprint. Computers track sales, ensuring shelves and coolers are restocked on a timely basis. Surveillance cameras and security equipment keep theft to a minimum, but if shrinkage does occur, it is not the responsibility of the employer.

“Previously, employees on lunch hours or breaks had little if any time to go somewhere for food,” said Randy Sofie, owner of B&P Vending, parent company of B&P Micro Markets. “Now they can have salads, fresh sandwiches, wraps, fresh fruit, vegetable trays and hard-boiled eggs,” Sofie added. Micro Markets can make employees more productive, Sofie said.

“Micro Markets help many employees make progress toward a healthier lifestyle,” he said. “They stay on site more and are happier because they have a nice place to go for a break.”

Micro Markets are best suited for workplaces with at least 100 employees, Sofie said. There are 13 of them in Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties. For details go to www.bpmicromarkets.com.

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