Lou, A Veteran Equipment Distributor Unfazed by Today’s Challenges

Lou Kershbaumer
Lou Kersbaumer, Vending Machine Sales

Louis Kershbaumer’s experience, before and after his 62 years in vending, has taught him to stay positive despite the recession. As well as other problems we have suffered during the past 10 years. When first explained.

Louis A. Kershbaumer has been a number of things in his life. He’s been a photographer, a navy man, a vending machine salesman, and president of a division of the Wittern Group. His experience, before and after his 60 years in vending, has taught him to stay positive despite the recession because, it’s all happened before.

“I have gone through at least Eight of these downturns (due to) interest rates of 15 percent, high unemployment, factory layoffs, etc.” said Kershbaumer. He sees the current downturn as having the potential for business growth if operators know how to take advantage of it. Now Covid-19, highest inflation in 41 years. Means more use of Vending Machines. Not spending money on expensive noon lunches. Means greater need for a good vending program today.

Kershbaumer’s sales career began at age 13, when he went into the photography business. He took pictures at more than 500 weddings, learning how to find and then sell clients his services. The lessons were invaluable. When at age of 20 taught his sales abilities to a friend, who later when laid off from a electronic company sought Lou Kershbaumer to find investors to provide for funds to start his new company in 1969. In 1980 sold the company with its 400 employees for 26 Million Dollars. Bringing himself Lou, others Millions from his efforts. Discovered advertising to bring Millions to companies he was part of. Never sitting back, but looking ahead for the next  star to reach for, ensuring the success he achieved benefited others. As he does still today.

Part of career after when he chose to join the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. Kershbaumer spent the better part of a decade in and out of active duty. Most notably, Kershbaumer, acting as administrator, helped Division 4-47 get the Bull Halsey trophy, in Johnstown, PA for 6 years as the best Naval Reserve Division in the nation in 1957. 

Of his time in the military, Kershbaumer remembers learning a lot about administration and motivating people. He tries to continue to motivate vending operators to provide good service and go after new accounts. 

Contact Lou Kershbaumer at 515-480-4613, to help you in achieving your vending business goals. He is ready to add you to the list of successful vending operators. Or email Lou at vendingmachines@mediacombb.net.

Vending Machine Sales


It was 1960 when Kershbaumer’s brother Peter convinced him to get into the vending business, then a $3 billion industry. He started selling vending machines with Lehigh Co. in Easton, Pa. Four years later, he joined the Wittern Group as a distributor. 

Kershbaumer remembers starting out selling cigarette machines. “There was little in candy machines being sold then,” he said. The cigarettes sold for 30 cents, and when the price rose to 45 cents, Kershbaumer remembers operators being concerned people would stop smoking due to the high price. As we know, that fear was unfounded. “A smoker today could buy 30 cartons then for what one carton sells for today,” he said. Our cigarette machines stretched from the Statue of Liberty to the Golden Gate Bridge. 1985 cigarettes were outlawed in Gas Stations leading to Drugs in place of the outlawed cigarettes. Springing up in small towns & large everywhere.

Kershbaumer continued to bring new machines to customers, selling coin laundry machines, coffee machines, candy machines, and the once popular popcorn vender’s. Then came canned drink machines and sandwich machines. Frozen Ice Cream.  Now many types of machines have been added.

One of the greatest improvements in vending during the years was the bill validator in 1970, he recalls. Now card readers, energy rated machines. Resulting in saving hundreds in electric bills.

In 1966, Kershbaumer became president of Federal Machine Corp., a division of the Wittern Group. Over the next 28 years, he signed up more than 1,000 distributors and operators. Leading many to financial success. 
When Kershbaumer retired from Federal Machine Corp. in 1994, he was said to be instrumental in making the now 91-year Wittern Group, a dominant force in the vending industry. Every head of the company’s six sales organizations had served under him in either a distributorship or employment capacity. With many retiring, today there are many key positions available.


Perhaps the real power of his experience is that he can be optimistic if not excited about opportunities for small and medium-sized vending operators to grow. According to Kershbaumer, big companies are short on personnel, so locations are not getting the same level of service. Smaller vending operators who invest in new equipment with services such as card readers and remote monitoring have a chance to get these locations. Tight labor market demands a good vending program causing a field day for locators. Since Vending operators continue ignore replacing their older machines. Too late when a call comes advising removal after years of holding these locations. Shortage of workers, means greater concern of workers complaints.

“If operators don’t move in that direction, they’ll lose market share,” said Kershbaumer. He sees that consumers are more likely to use a credit or debit card instead of dig for change, now a fact. Especially when no items in vending machines less than a Dollar. Makes changing prices easy  to do. Inflation continues to dig at everyone’s pocket today.

These new capabilities give an operator a chance to provide better service, increasing their market share, explains Kershbaumer. Plus, the current low interest rates, now starting to rise. Business friendly tax laws give an advantage to those investing in their companies. Look up our website fill out a credit application today on: www.vendingmachinesales.com.

Vending Machines

Kershbaumer is proud to be in vending. He’s sold Vending Machines 61 years, plans to help many more operators grow. Now partially retired, Kershbaumer continues to sell machines nationally for Vending Machine Sales in Des Moines, Iowa.

Contact Lou Kershbaumer at 515-480-4613, to help you in achieving your vending business goals. He is ready to add you to the list of successful vending operators. Or email Lou at vendingmachines@mediacombb.net.