PHILADELPHIA -- Families visiting New York's Bronx Zoo and Brooklyn Children's Museum, and San Francisco's Gilroy Gardens will no longer have to make do without a clean diaper, pacifier or sunscreen on a summer day. They will be able to purchase everything from diapers in three sizes, diaper cream and baby wipes to ready-to-feed formula and sippy cups, from Nanny Caddy vending machines installed in late March.
Since launching in 2008 by Celena Lentz, a mother, Nanny Caddies have been sprouting up across the country. Patrick FitzGerald, a veteran entrepreneur who previously cofounded RecycleBank, a recycling rewards company, was brought on board as chief executive of the Philadelphia-based company in 2009 to help expand Nanny Caddy nationwide.
The machines are now in 10 states, in places like SeaWorld Orlando, Legoland, Chicago's Field Museum, the Houston Zoo and Philadelphia International Airport. The Bronx Zoo and the Brooklyn Children's Museum are Nanny Caddy's first New York City installations, and Gilroy Gardens is its first site in northern California. The baby-gear venders can be found near the entrance or near family restrooms with prices of items ranging from $2 to $10.
FitzGerald said that Nanny Caddy benefits not only parents in need but the family-friendly locations they serve and the marketers of the products sold through the machines. "We offer our location partners a revenue share and an opportunity to keep their grateful customers onsite at their location longer," he said. "For baby product marketers, this is a great opportunity to get products in front of brand-loyal moms and dads when they need it most."
Nanny Caddy is among several vending gimmicks for baby care products to hit the market recently. A San Francisco company is unveiling a baby care products machine at the upcoming OneShow in Chicago (see story). Last year, AVT Inc. adapted one its vending machines for the purpose.