The Pantry in South Invercargill has been quietly building up a cult following.
Those in the know go there for a friendly yarn and to shop in a relaxed atmosphere that feels different from anywhere else.
Nourishing the community for the past four years, The Pantry also operates as a social enterprise, with all profits going back into the community.
From running village markets to delivering food parcels to those in need (336 boxes to date), there are also the fundraisers – such as the recent Mai Mai High Tea to help seniors with their power bills.
The Pantry employs four full-time staff, three part-time and a raft of volunteers. Opening in May 2017, there is also a community cafe onsite, so once you have stocked up on all of your grocery items you can relax and unwind.
Grocery manager Alice O’Brien said they also organise workshops (there’s one on fermented foods coming up), and can cater for events or meetings at their large table in the café – through ‘The Pod.’
“To start with, there’s all the benefits derived from stocking up at the bulk refillery. You take your own container, use one of theirs or the bags provided, then fill up with as little as you need or as much as you want.
“It’s the widest range we know of and it’s amazingly simple to do. No unnecessary packaging means it’s also good for the environment. That’s your sustainability angle taken care of then.”
As well as all of your usual grocery items, you can even come in and fill your own Kombucha on tap, as well as bulk A-grade organic maple syrup, gluten-free flours and the all time best seller – peanut butter! Come in and make some yourself.
The cafe has a new chef ready to cook up a storm, and already her spicy chicken wraps and home-made pumpkin falafels are a hit.
Alice said a new catering menu will soon be released for any businesses or individuals wanting to order lunch box options – both hot and cold.
“We’d really like to expand what we can do from our kitchens” she said.
Even better you will have the option of your catering to come in reusable plastic containers so when you bring them back your next lunch is even better value.
The Pantry is about bringing food to the people – at the heart of it all is sustainability, nourishment and our community.
Shop online at shop.thepantry.co.nz