Losing Millions on the Homie Vending Machine Empire: Profiles by VICE


the goal was to shake the glass quarter out of your pocket that’s always but I’ll go I was the king of the hump day every I had 1500 machines and every single machine on the top but every big machine that held the big two-inch capsule we had always in the first year we grossed a million dollars the first year I was in business yeah it was crazy it was like printing money I mean it was it was really unbelievable every store down both sides of the street had machines out in front of it it was like unbelievable and everybody had the homeys and the kids be running from machine to machine to machine to machine the segment was absolutely insane it was really unbelievable really was unbelievable man we made so much fun all right so my name is Bradley Ellison I’m Sugarman people say sugar man or sugar daddies and started our company in 96 and it’s been 18 years it’s been a lot of ups and downs and we’ve been picking the pockets of little children across the city for last 18 years this was the most popular vending toy that we ever had in the history of my business the history of my business from the inception of the vending until now the home is was the most popular things the original homies is uh is an ethnic thing it’s a it’s like a barrio thing in LA you know what I mean it’s how the Mexicans look in LA the Mexican Americans look in LA and that was the take on us in the Mexican American by name of Danny Gonzales invented this in a drawing and then they made stickers that didn’t really sell too well and then he made a series of homies for the capsules that sold really well on the west coast but you know they couldn’t someone the East Coast and they were 50 cent toy so it was the first our first adventure from a quarter into 50 cents you know because we sell everything for a quarter nine eight years ago we did a we’re a $70,000 a month I mean that was like but that was like you know we won’t like running on all cylinders you know and then we paid it all in bills it wasn’t like we you know III would sit there with mountains of quarters like I was King Midas and then I would watch them all go out to pay the bills so us this is gonna be a guy calling for a bill I can’t say it outright hello hi gladly yes it’s Jackie from off guard I tell you I’m gonna be sending you a check at the end of the week okay okay yeah I’m gonna I’m gonna muster it together and send it to you okay tell Scott tell Myrna tell Mona I’m sorry you know I mean it’s just been a real hustle out here so uh I’ll get that check to it for the product okay okay all right my darling okay oh I love tada I’m trying I’m trying all right tell minor I said hey tell rush I should hate you okay all right love bye bye Hey one of my distributors I told her I broke my leg you gotta tell people because you know what I mean I’m trying to paint the dusties send me a load of stuff that didn’t sell show me look you know they I bought this blood and capsule I thought it was gonna be great for Halloween to show y’all the way over the money for and what it did it wasn’t any good you go downstairs now you wanna see some of my stuff yeah see these are all the pots in here with all the parts for the machines all right they’re everywhere see these are all my vending machines this what’s left of my vending machines over here we got them everywhere but these were all not all the parts for the machines locks all that stuff these are all you know these are all different machines that I had at one time I had I had about 50 shelves like this three high full with stuff in my warehouse so no there’s my huh a little sugar daddy’s book there’s where I first started in business this was an article they did on a really big guy and me cuz I was a street operator then this comedy Street operator so that was cool these are all little pictures this look of my backyard packed with vending machines so this is the remnants of what’s left of my empire you know what I mean I know I got him somewhere cuz I would never start him away summer winter that’s not it already grabbed these toys that does say right on the top box Bradley they don’t got no I see what fooled me was that was the Christmas decoration there we go here we go here we go they’re all in here no I knew that we can’t move it over there there were everywhere everywhere you looked you’d see homies and when I read the article in New York Times I left the guy was getting a haircut I read the article I said this is the beginning in the end when the New York Times reporting on the homies it’s the beginning of the end but it was like a phenomena was I just urban like the time said it I had the article said this the urban phenomenon known as the as the homies you know I mean that was the pinnacle of everybody’s career the homey angle like its deliver everything I got the homey and all they’d be like I know man I know I can’t sell anything and you’d be like had that figurine dude sucks had every socks you really mean is everything soft after actors like you were used to making so much money that you didn’t want to make hundreds I mean like go to machine only hundreds in Michigan you know I mean it’s like today I’d be like Oh give me a hundred bucks machine you know it’s funny I collect on a need basis if I need the money I go collect you know today I need the money we have a lot of fun you know it was like you know I was like a giant kid now it’s like more of a necessity for me to do the machines where before was a labor of love like I love that I love to do the machines I loved it funny how things change you know why am i running a blank no no I don’t even know the address I don’t know addresses I just you know I know exactly where I’m going I know exactly I’m going just I do a blank on how to get there Oh easy killer with the School Bus you jerk-off hello alright I’m just drawing a blank on how to get to where I gotta go I just must be able to brain fog I need some poison what’s up bro this is like glue this stuff in the machine I can’t even get it out I’m making no money that’s what’s going on there was a time there was a time this machine forget about it when the movies were hot over here we do a killing unbelievable it’s like taking money out of a dead man’s pocket over here $33 and that’s it that’s all we got and that’s what we’re gonna have to do $12 for my guy okay brought $12 all right listen there was 33,000 there oh my god oh I gave you 12 out of 33 brother listen to me that’s all for better times the next time we come yeah man sucks one two three four five finalists for the house probably $25 altogether sorry that’s all there is moe thanks Louie man I love your brothers the slicer light bro all right be good man they gotta find my wrong what they doing that Rolla gotta roll the shekels up now I was wrong there was 26 25 was closed all right I know I can look at the money in time looking at quarters for ever you know what I mean such is the life of the vending machine guy you ready to roll let’s go I really needed that where else do I got a really time out in mind I really needed that money I really need that for my Verizon dollars if I don’t they’re gonna cut me off before 6 o’clock tonight so and I said by the time I finished playing on my all the money I had borrowed the business had time so it’s a it’s a you know what’s tough it was tough but you know I’ll do hey you know it’s getting harder and harder you know but I’ll survive him you know we survive you know there’s always somebody let me put a machine in this store there’s always people who won’t throw me out you know you know it’s a hustle you know but at me know III shake III kicked I’ve been taking people’s pockets the money my whole life so it’s not a better issue for me mmm in New York the man you know – the day I die and you know there’s no way I’m not gonna make money you know it’s not this so I’ll think of something else you don’t I mean busted the glass in the front an eraser that’s all that’s left countless see that’s what I’m talking racing somebody break the glass they bender machine out they break the rod this is I just something I’m so disgusted sometimes with this let’s go the remnants of my empire my homie Empire

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