You may think of Cumberland Farms as a place to fill your gas tank, buy a newspaper, a lottery ticket, cigarettes or a beverage -- but it's much more. The 700-store chain has evolved into pleasant purveyors of all kinds of products. The stores are hybrid gas station/restaurants/convenience stores and more.
Cumby is not an old-time ice cream parlor. There are no soda jerks to concoct beverages and ice cream sundaes, but there is a very talented milkshake-making robot. It's like a Keurig for cold, thick drinks, from a company called F'real.
The company says: "f'real foods is a fast-growing company that designs, sells, and markets authentic milkshakes, smoothies, and frozen cappuccino blended frozen beverages -- all made from real ingredients - ice cream, fruit, milk, and coffee. Consumers freshly blend our products in our patented blender found in over 13,000 locations across the US and Canada, at convenience stores, colleges & universities, theaters, and military bases."
I'm used to interacting with lots of talented robots (even one that prints books), but none produce the ecstasy that F'real does. For $1.99 I got a big-enough, good enough, fast-enough drink with almost as much excitement as a video poker machine.
I could select from three thicknesses. Since this was my first test, I picked "regular." The machine whirred and clanked and in about a minute my drink was ready. There was about a half-inch of vacant space at the top of the cup, so I squirted in some milk from the coffee supplies and stirred with my straw.
The shake was delicious. It was thick enough so I knew it was a shake, but not so thick that it would not pass through a straw.
You can CLICK to see how the shake is produced.
CONFESSION: I was so delirious with my new discovery, I walked out without paying for the shake and forgot to buy gas. I'll pay next time.