Michael Anderson “Dr Dessert”
Michael Anderson’s calling in life wasn’t candy or soda or chips. It was business. He wanted to own and run a business that could support him and his family and give him the freedom to make his own choices of where he would work, how he would work and with whom he would work.
Snacks, food, drinks and coffee helped him do that.
He founded Dr. Dessert Vending in 1991, six months after launching a similarly named business, Dr. Dirt. While Dr. Dirt pressure-cleaned buildings, Dr. Dessert satisfied the hunger pangs of a busy workforce. Two simultaneous businesses weren’t part of Michael’s dream, though. In 1993, he sold Dr. Dirt to concentrate on his growing snack food business, which he gave the motto: “We’re the prescription for a snack attack.”
His theory in 1991 had been that, as a snack vendor, he was tapping into a pretty stable market: People want convenient food at work. He was right. Within two months of starting Dr. Dessert, he was servicing 15 companies. Today, he has almost 100.
Those 10,000 employees eating from Dr. Dessert’s machines appreciate Michael and his staff being available 24 hours a day. “If you have a copy machine go down in the workplace, no big deal,” Michael says laughing. “If you have a coffee machine go down, whoa. That’s a whole other story.”
Michael credits his employees -- six vending operators and route managers as well as a part-time warehouse worker -- for his company’s success. “They’re the biggest asset we have,” he says.
Teamwork is in Michael’s blood. The last child in a family of six, Michael learned how to play sports, ride bikes and run from the dirty dishes through the guidance and support of his sister and four brothers. His mother, Mary, and father, Edgar, raised their children on Old Gettysburg Road in Lower Allen Twp.
Michael’s first job was delivering the newspaper just like his brothers. If anyone on the newspaper route thought they were talking to Michael, though, they always had to look closely because his identical twin, Marty, also delivered papers. “The twins,” as they were known, only switched classes in grade school once, fooling both of their teachers. Despite those antics, he graduated from high school in 1980 and college in 1986. He and his family live in Hampden Twp.