Marcus Gram, a 31-year-old entrepreneur from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the founder of Joyner Vending, a Black-owned vending machine business that is one of the fastest-growing companies in the US. In fact, it is projected to make $500,000 in sales in 2022 alone just 4 years since it was launched.
In 2018, Marcus launched Joyner Vending as a side hustle. Back then, he was earning about $30,000 a year at his job and he wanted to achieve more. He originally aspired to be a music producer, but he became interested in the world of vending machines after seeing a woman retrieve cash from one of hers.
Marcus started the business with two vending machines he bought for $4,400. In his first year, he earned only $4,000. A year later, his earnings grew to $25,000, the following year to over $200,000 and in 2021, his profit went up to $300,000. Now this year alone, he is confident that he is on track to earn half a million dollars.
To be able to reach that milestone, Marcus has placed his vending machines in strategic locations where more people pass through. Gram currently has 21 vending machines located in high-traffic areas such as hotels, motels, apartments, and student housing in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Detroit, and Washington, DC.
Marcus also makes sure to stock up on the consumers’ favorites. Based on the machine sales, he buys the best-selling products from wholesale distributors and resells them through the machine for a higher profit.
“People love vending machines because they’re convenient,” Gram told CNBC Make It. “Not many people know that anyone can own them. There are low startup costs and potential for high return.”
With the success of his business, Marcus said he was able to change his life, as well as his family’s life, particularly his sister whom he hired to help run the business. He said he also wanted to do the same for other aspiring entrepreneurs.
“I want to change other people’s lives by talking about the business, doing speaking events, seminars, webinars, whatever I can do to help everyone learn about a business that not a lot of people know about,” he said.