NEW YORK - New Yorkers, who live in the city that famously never sleeps, now can satisfy their craving for cupcakes in any of those endless waking hours.
A 24-hour vending machine that dispenses gourmet cupcakes opened for business this week on Manhattan's Upper East Side, and locals are lining up despite the wintry temperatures for a taste.
"It's so fun," said Melissa Martelli, a schoolteacher and neighborhood resident as she nibbled on a cinnamon sugar cupcake she bought from the machine. "You could just go in the store and wait on line, but it's just so cool."
Despite the Sprinkles cupcake store connected to the ATM, and the city's abundance of all-night delis and convenience stores, customers said the ATM has novelty appeal.
"It's the experience of buying a cupcake from an ATM. It's an incredible concept," said Amy Benaderet, a financial services account manager who lives nearby. "You can get money at any time. Now you can get cupcakes at any time."
"It'll be interesting to see if the novelty wears off," she added.
At a price of US$4.25 (S$5.36) apiece, the cupcake choices include chocolate, coconut, red velvet, vanilla and lemon meringue.
"It's cool, especially if you live around here and it's like the middle of the night and you really want a cupcake. I would so do that," said Margarita Mazur, who works at a local tech startup.
The nine-year-old company behind the machine, Sprinkles, also has installed cupcake machines in Las Vegas, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta and Beverly Hills, California, where the company is based, and plans to expand into Houston and Washington, D.C.
The New York model holds 760 cupcakes and sells up to four at a time, making it larger than the company's other machines.
But not every New Yorker has caught the sugar buzz.
"I think it's stupid," said Anthony Campagne, who was waiting while his tech company co-workers stood in line for their cupcakes. "It just doesn't make sense. People don't need cupcakes at three in the morning."