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Sunday, September 9, 2012

ADM Vending enjoying new, larger digs on Continental Boulevard in Merrimack

MERRIMACK – As a business that grew out of a school project 12 years ago, ADM Vending & Coffee has done pretty well serving the corporate world.

Now, it hopes to do well serving the retail side, too. ...

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MERRIMACK – As a business that grew out of a school project 12 years ago, ADM Vending & Coffee has done pretty well serving the corporate world.

Now, it hopes to do well serving the retail side, too.

“We want to add another piece to the puzzle,” said Dan Mendenhall, founder and president of the company. “Probably 97 percent of business is corporate, from full-line vendor to coffee distributor.”

In June, the firm moved within Merrimack, from Columbia Circle to the high-traffic Continental Boulevard.

Its new, larger location of almost 13,000 square feet includes retail sales of items including Green Mountain coffee and Keurig brewers, whose single-serving system has rattled the coffee vending industry.

ADM’s move will be celebrated with an open house, sponsored by the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce, on Wednesday starting at 4:30 p.m. Among other things, it will include a putting contest connected to a raffle for a big-screen TV, with funds going toward Nashua’s Legacy playground for disabled and able-bodied children alike.

ADM is named for Mendenhall and his son Adam, who needed to start a business for a seventh-grade project.

“We sat and tried to figure out what to do,” said Mendenhall, who at the time was a manager for Benchmark Electronics, then in Hudson, and who had been a director of operations for Burger King for two decades. “We eventually went to Sam’s Club and got a machine. … Now we’ve got 750 customers,” he said.

ADM, which has eight employees, is aiming for $2.5 million to $3 million in sales this year, Mendenhall said.

Adam, by the way, lost interest long ago. He’s now a pilot in Arizona.

Vending is an industry without big, dominant players. Independently owned ADM, which has customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and southern Maine, is one of several such businesses in southern New Hampshire.

The arrival of Keurig and the development of “K-Cups,” which allows quick brewing of single cups of coffee, tea or other hot beverages, changed the industry because it lowered the cost of entry. “So many people have gotten their hands into it,” said Mendenhall, either as direct distributors like ADM or resellers.

Mendenhall said one plus of the move is that the recently opened Merrimack Premium Outlets are just up the road from the new location.

ADM would probably have moved to Continental Boulevard anyway, he said, but the extra traffic drawn by the mall is a plus.

David Brooks can be reached at 594-6531 or dbrooks@nashuatelegraph.com. Follow Brooks’ blog on Twitter (@GraniteGeek).