Issue Date: Vol. 54, No. 8, August 2014, Posted On: 7/27/2014
Vice Profiles Bulk Vending Legend Bradley Ellison: Losing Millions On Homies
TAGS: Vice, bulk vending, Bradley Ellison, coin machine, Sugarman, Sugar Daddies,
Losing Millions on the Homie Vending Machine Empire, vending route, David Gonzalez
NEW YORK CITY -- Bradley Ellison is the subject of a video profile by Vice. One of coin-op's most colorful characters, Ellison started Sugar Daddies Vending in Staten Island in 1996. The street-smart operator was known for servicing bulk vending locations in some of New York City’s toughest neighborhoods.
Sugar Daddies had flourished since its founding, but made it real big in 2004 with the Homies series, vendable figurines based on the Chicano characters created by Los Angeles-based artist David Gonzalez. The documentary, titled "Losing Millions on the Homie Vending Machine Empire," follows Ellison, a.k.a. the Sugarman, on his route as he recounts the peak of the Homies craze to today's far less halcyon state of the industry.
Vice is an international magazine focused on arts, culture and news topics. In 2013, HBO aired the first season of a Vice TV series. The magazine's portrait of Ellison is poignant, and reminds longtime operators what they already know: You cannot build a bulk vending business on one hot product.