Vintage Finds: Minut-Bun Bar-BQ-Bar
This vintage find is an interesting piece of restaurant equipment picked up at Antiques USA in Arundel, Maine. It’s a countertop barbecue sandwich warmer, made about 1951. From advertisements and trade articles discovered online, it appears that this food service machine was a popular invention in the 1950s.
Manufactured by Helmco, Inc. of Chicago, Illinois, the Minut-Bun was distributed to franchises throughout the midwestern United States. Used at food concessions such as lunch counters, carnivals and anywhere there was an electrical outlet and hungry customers these were touted as being able to produce a warm barbecue sandwich in one minute. The buns were heated on 2 metal warmers, and then filled with hot barbecued meat from the ceramic-lined crock. The buns were pouched-shaped, to avoid spilling of their contents.
Helmco, Inc. was a commercial fountain and food service equipment manufacturer of 50 different food service machines through the 1950s. In 1962 they were acquired by Star International, also a maker of food service equipment. They just don’t make cool machines like this anymore, and this is a great new addition to our personal collection.