Nick Yates works for vending machines with healthful snacks in schools, offices
Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, Nick Yates earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of Technology in business and marketing. He began his career working for Mojo Advertising in Sydney where he was senior media buyer for the Qantas Airlines and Toyota Motor Company accounts.
In 2002, Yates founded Healthy Vending Pty Ltd, the world’s first healthy vending machine business, placing 250 such machines throughout Australia. Most contained only “macro-biotic” products.
After witnessing the demand for healthier food, Yates sold his company in 2005 and moved to San Diego with the intention of introducing healthy vending to North America. In 2006, Fresh Healthy Vending was launched as the first such “franchise,” placing 1,800 healthy vending machines throughout 250 markets. Fresh Healthy Vending has become the world’s largest healthy food vending machine company with a footprint of 2,300 units (as of July, 2013).
An advocate for childhood obesity prevention, Yates also created the initiative, FreshandHealthy.Org, which offers as incentive, $1 million in grants to schools, businesses, hospitals and community centers in an attempt to replace their “junk food” machines with healthful snack machines. To date, the initiative has donated $300,000.
What brought you to La Jolla?
Coming from the eastern suburbs of Sydney, I wanted something that offered the same as far as culture, good food and wine, and, of course, beaches. I’ve lived on the La Jolla coast for six of the eight years I’ve been in San Diego. I’m never leaving. I love it here!
What might you add, subtract or improve in the area?
An upscale marina on the coast filled with bars and restaurants for overseas visitors to park their yachts and visit La Jolla would really put us on the map.
Who or what inspires you?
My wife, Angela, as a yoga teacher, her Zen approach to life inspires me every day.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
I would welcome Beyonce and Jay Z, Keith Richards, Steve Jobs, Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Fallon and Jesus Christ.
What are your all-time favorite films?
“Casino Royale,” “Usual Suspects,” “Wolf of Wall Street,” “The Departed,” “Good Fellas” and “Casino.” I love Scorsese!
What is it that you most dislike?
Intolerance. To each their own.
What is your most-prized possession?
My beautiful memories of the relationship with my deceased stepfather.
What do you do for fun?
Play golf badly at the Grand Del Mar every Saturday morning. (Guaranteed a good laugh every round!)
What is your philosophy of life?
To make the most of every situation that presents itself, to be grateful and to never regret.
What would be your dream vacation?
A trip with my wife to Paris, Ibiza, Barcelona and Positano.
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