Market gardener Raphaël Clerissi has spent €40,000 providing a shop-in-a-box solution for those of us who always turn up at the farm shop when it’s closed.
Pitch up at his patch on the D1 at Gattières across the La Manda bridge from Nice at any time of the day and night and freshly-picked fruit and veg can be selected from individual compartments, some of them refrigerated, and paid for by popping money in a slot.
When the Reporter called by, a wide selection of produce was on offer, from delicious strawberries that had been growing in the polytunnels alongside the air-conditioned vending cabin just hours before, to super fresh spuds, courgettes, radishes, peppers. In fact, all the contents of a market stall.
Raphaël, 22, said, “There are about 60 of these vending machines in France, but this is the only one in our region. It frees up more time for me to work on the land, and the customers can come whenever they want.”
Surprisingly, convenience does not come at an extra cost. Lettuce at €1, half-kilo of strawberries for €4.90, or €3.90 for a big bag of new potatoes – hard to beat these prices in the supermarket. And you can buy his mum’s homemade jam, too.
Credit cards accepted, and there's plenty of parking.