Oyster-lovers can now buy boxes of the salt-water delicacy at any time of the day or night following the recent opening of a 24-hour oyster vending machine on Ile de Re, as seen in the town of Ars-en-Re on Thursday.

The machine was installed after customers voiced their disappointment at the restrictive opening times of Brigitte and Tony Berthelot's oyster store.

SOT, Tony Berthelot, oyster farmer (French): "Indeed, people always arrive when the shop door is closed, which is frustrating for customers and for us. So we looked at the systems, we looked at what was being done in agriculture, because there are many distributors in the countryside. We contacted a manufacturer who responded and who fitted a machine for oysters since it is a particular product that is not very restrictive but requires some adjustments. Then, it was decided to set up a room intended for the installation of this distributor."

SOT, Tony Berthelot, oyster farmer (French): "We have schedules of variable amplitude and [they are] quite wide; actually this machine comes to relieve us at a time when we could not do more. The season is long here. There are daily constraints: there are the tides which are often at lag time. When the shop is not open we are often trained to work next door. So the machine will allow us to relieve ourselves and allow us to render services to the customer. Without it it is difficult to do all our work."

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