About Annette Nolan
Carts Blanche, LLC designs “VendaCarts”, the first to market 24/7 mobile automated retail store. Combining the fast-turn, high-volume world of automated retail with mobile real-estate offers unlimited venue versatility at thousands of outdoor specialty events, work sites, construction sites, disaster relief areas, military installations, neighborhoods, food deserts, rural areas and more with increased sales and increased profit margins.
Annette Nolan, founder and CEO of Carts Blanche, LLC, guides the company in all business aspects incorporating knowledge in 18 industries to inform everything from design to manufacturing, marketing, sales, branding, communications, technology, shipping, and exporting. She has been involved in the self-serve industry for twenty years as a forward-thinking entrepreneur leading the industry in the manufacturing of “Robotic Vending Trailers”. VendaCarts automated trailers offer unlimited opportunities maximizing sales, elevating revenue, and moving automated retail into new venues with an untapped reservoir of customers and sales.
VendaCarts out-performs the traditional concession trailers in the marketplace by offering high volume retailers a wider selection of products, multiple self-serve channels of sales, and a reduction in employee costs. Single person transport, set-up and take-down design combined with the unmanned automated operations of the business creates a competitive advantage that decreases operating costs by eliminating the need for additional employees.
Annette Antoine Nolan is the founder and CEO of Carts Blanche, LLC and designer and manufacturer of the first to market VendaCarts mobile automated retail stores. Nolan guides the company in all business aspects incorporating knowledge in 18 industries to inform everything from design to manufacturing, marketing, sales, branding, communications, technology, shipping, and exporting. She has been involved in the self-serve industry for twenty years as a forward-thinking entrepreneur leading the industry in the manufacturing of “Robotic Retail Trailers”. Maintaining knowledge of the competition through industry news, associations, trade shows and trends in markets; manufacturing, concession, vending, ATM banking, POS (Point of Sale), digital signage, disability market, ADA regulations, franchise, and food and beverage products has kept her ahead of the curve and looking forward to a new world wide open to mobile automated retail.
An Interview with Annette Nolan.
Leader of Carts Blanche, Annette Nolan is the design and creative force behind the company’s products and services. Kindly discuss some of her qualities which have transformed the organization.
I’m a creative dreamer, a visionary and I’m courageous, believing that where there is a will there’s a way. I did the hard work necessary to push beyond barriers, naysayers and business fatigue. I have stayed absolutely confident that even though we were ahead of the times with the introduction of VendaCarts that time would catch up and so it has.
What is the most important advantage of doing business with Carts Blanche?
Carts Blanche is, in essence, selling a business not just a product. To fully support each new business venture, Carts Blanche has established ETC, Entrepreneurial Training and Consultation, a turnkey business resource division. ETC project managers systematically assist and guide customer’s through the design and development stages by offering qualified solutions and resources connected to automated equipment, ATM’s, digital signage/LCD screens, products, purchasing options, wholesalers, distributors, marketing opportunities, technology options and more in order to develop a business specific to the customer’s needs. The goal of ETC is to help our clients get into business quicker but without doing all the work for them. The project manager will follow the process from design to build including but not limited to, sales proposal, production schedule, training and will ensure the overall success of the VendaCarts trailer project. In addition, your project manager will be the single point of contact ensuring a smooth process and customer satisfaction.
Why was Carts Blanche born? What is the market pain points you wanted to address through the inception of the institution?
Carts Blanche was conceived as a way to expand, deliver and elevate the automated retail industry.
Initially I set out to design a concession trailer for people with disabilities. During the research, development and design phase I quickly realized that I needed an alternative way to serve the customers more product options without the need for additional employees. I then began learning all I could about the vending industry and found that the catering and concession industries had never expanded into automated retail and vending had never developed operations beyond brick and mortar locations.
I believe that as an outsider looking in one can bring the most transformative innovations to an industry. That is what I feel I have done for the catering, concession and vending industries. VendaCarts is a new age way to bridge the gap between these industries while delivering robotic convenience retail to the masses.
Not only did I accomplish the goal of the first ever designed vending trailer for the disability market but I expanded opportunities for three industries (catering, concession and vending) to utilize automated retail in a whole new way.
What I did not anticipate was the length of time that it would take for the vending, concession and catering industries at large to look beyond the status quo and into the future for new ideas. VendaCarts is the result of hard work and an honorary degree in “Patient Persistence”.
As all of the various institutions are working to respond to the COVID-19 situation, how is Leader of Carts Blanche working towards the same?
Our VendaCarts mobile automated retail stores are themselves the perfect solution for delivering any product at any time to any location where people live, work and play. We have added as part of our COVID-19 solutions options several new products:
1. Plexiglass pull out shields used between machines to separate the customers for safer service options.
2. Antimicrobial film that can be applied to the front of the vending machines plus the retrieval bin for a greater level of product protection by continuously inhibiting the growth of microbes on surfaces for very long periods of time.
3. Hand Sanitizer -automatic and battery operated.
4. PPE vending machines.
5. Touch free vending machines.
6. How does your integration of mobility and automated machines move vending machines from the traditional bricks-and-mortar into an untapped reservoir of customers and sales?
Vending is a land-locked business with automated machines currently being located in bricks-and-mortar locations. For years manufacturing plants have been closing, more and more people working from home and additional locations where machines are placed have shut down.
VendaCarts business model leads the vending industry into a wider playing field multiplying location that vending has never been in before where the masses gather: outdoor special events marketplace, construction/building sites, university settings, entertainment facilities, disaster relief sites, military installations, neighborhoods, rural areas etc.
How do you turn the latest technology trends into advantages for your end-users? Which are the key technologies you are adopting at present?
The combination of five industries under one roof introduces up to as many as 26 distinct profit centers within 190 square feet on a VendaCarts 26’ trailer.
We have a long-standing partnership with MSPSOS a project system integration firm out of San Diego to add remote monitoring systems for easier business management, marketing and sales.
The platform integrates systems such as automated machines, digital signage and ATMs, with advanced technology that exists today.
The types of technology that we are leveraging creates one management location for loyalty rewards, marketing (digital out of home, Wi-Fi, mobile, and E-commerce), traffic and audience analysis, facial recognition, and emotion detection.
The platform combines the delivery of target marketing campaigns with the delivery of goods and services, all via automation. We have also added a GPS system on the trailer for added security.
The technology our VendaCarts trailers are leveraging will create secure, omni-channel resources for every retail scenario imaginable.
To understand your solutions and products better, can you share a few case studies where clients have benefited from your solutions?
What problems did they face and after the implementation of your solution, what were the benefits they received?
We sold a VendaCarts trailer to a Pepsi bottler who was interested in serving food and beverage products to construction workers at a building site. Their alternative interest was to become the vending company of choice once the facility was built.
Their mission was accomplished and they made money in the mean-time. They have since used this same business platform at additional construction sites winning them the bids at those sites as well. They found that the fast turn, self-serve operations of VendaCarts works especially well in areas where time is of the essence.
One of our new customers is a military supplier who is in charge of commissary, catering and vending operations for a particular branch of the military. Their interest was to be able to expand their current operations into outdoor locations where large crowds gather serving foods, beverages, clothing and souvenirs. They had no way of tapped into this marketplace before they found our company. We assisted them through the design process to expand their approach there by giving them many additional uses and locations to take their VendaCarts trailer.
Entrepreneurs have purchased the VendaCarts trailers as a full or part time businesses. The operation can be handled by a single person from start to finish reducing the overhead expenses exponentially.
Carts Blanche’s ETC, Entrepreneurial Training and Consultation is our solutions and design resource division. Through this program we systematically assist our customers in making decisions on trailer design comparing different options for personalized use with added information and tools to support them every step of the way: equipment review and purchasing, product selection and wholesale buying options, distributors, technologies etc. The whole goal of ETC is to help our clients create a VendaCarts turn-key business that meets their needs and demands.
What is your advice to the future leaders who want to make it big in the market?
We recommend that leaders look beyond, with eyes wide open to a future filled with opportunities for the automated retail industry. Future trends and innovation drivers expand beyond the traditional locations into an unlimited marketplace where the masses gather, customers are there to be served and increased profits are waiting.
Kindly elaborate on any upcoming projects/plan of Carts Blanche that would benefit your end-users and staff in the end.
VendaCarts mobile real-estate is shaping the future of automated businesses involving every retail scenario imaginable. We are currently working with five national companies on the design of up to six different VendaCarts business models:
EXAMPLE 1. Souvenir sales would be placed in ambient temperature vending machines (in this case preferably conveyor style).
EXAMPLE 2. Food Sales can be vended from refrigerated, frozen and ambient temp. automated machines any type of prepackaged food items can be vended.
EXAMPLE 3. Ticket Sales / Redemptions from ambient temp machines.
EXAMPLE 4. Gaming Trailers, equipped with Video Arcade games, Photobooths, Crane machines etc.
EXAMPLE 5. Branded/Themed (graphic wrapped) mobile stores for any retail sales imaginable.
EXAMPLE 6. Promotion/Marketing trailers used for product promotions.
The list goes on.
As we increase our presence within the self-serve retail industry, we are also building appropriate partnerships with automated equipment manufacturers both here and abroad to bring our customers the best options available in the marketplace. Our technology partner is driving business in our direction and continues to add optional features to enhance the operations of this unique self-serve retail platform.
We have sold VendaCarts to individuals and large companies in the US with our first sales being exported to Moscow, Russia.
Carts Blanche, LLC understands the need for breakthrough ideas in the automated industry. Consumer challenges, economic conditions, shrinking venue space and smaller profit margins are hammering business owners. In challenging ourselves to design a new approach to automated retail delivery we looked both inside and outside the vending industry. VendaCarts is today’s solution to delivering automated retail to the populace.
Consider the Benefits of VendaCarts
• Self-Contained Self-Serve
• Cashless Vending Touchless Vending
• 24/7/365 Fast-Turn Service
• ATM – Banking Single Person Operation
• Rolling Bulletin Boards Automated Retail Sales
• Interactive Marketing Multi-Purpose Applications
• Immersive Customer Experience Unlimited Locations
• Venue Versatility Unattended Sales
• Remotely Managed Mobile Real-estate
• Multiple Payment Options Immediate Return on Investment
• Connectivity, Smart Phone Large Variety of Products
• Cashless Vending Non-Traditional Locations
• Turn-key business No Franchise Fee