This new age one-stop-shop is elevating the convenience store experience.
The much-anticipated “fancy but easy” convenience store, The Pantry by Marble, has opened its doors. Located on Jan Smuts Avenue – on the street level of the Trumpet on Keyes building – The Pantry is revolutionising the forecourt convenience store offering.
The Pantry is hybrid model of a supermarket, deli, take-away and retail store. It’s a speciality grocery store which offers consumers an elevated selection of items including quality fresh produce, ready-to-go meals, bakery items, flowers, wine and everyday essentials along with a bespoke retail selection. A supply partnership with leading fuel supplier, Sasol will provide motorists with petrol, diesel and electric options courtesy of Mercedes Benz.
Twenty-two years ago, Gary opened one of the first Super Spars in South Africa which offered a ready-made food section for the first time in the country. “Times have changed – not only over the last 22 years, but in the last two,” says Gary. “People are expecting more from their retail experiences – and so The Pantry offers convenience and retail, but to a whole new level.”
The retail section has over 6 000 items ranging from convenience foods to household retail items, curated local artisanal products and imported items.
“We’ve also included a range of local artisanal products, not only to support food entrepreneurs, but to offer new diversity,” says Chef David Higgs. “We’ve got some beautiful spices and sauces with really interesting flavours, and then great cuts of meat to have with them. The thinking behind the stuff on the shelves is that you can create a basket of items to put together.”
David and his team – headed up by Megan Meikle and Tyler Clayton – have assembled an array of foods – including quick ready-to-eat items like cakes, bowls, salads, pasta, wraps and even freshly-made pizza.
“It’s something a little bit different from other shops,” he says. “The hot products are reminiscent of what you’d find at a corner café – fish and chips, prego rolls, not-your-average garage pie and rotisserie chickens. There is also a wide assortment of salad and vegetable options a day. The idea is you can easily put a meal together – Mexican, Italian, roast chicken and veg, or steak and salad.”
The food also extends to baked items – the infamous Marble bread will be on offer alongside a couple of other loaves, and croissants, muffins and biscuits – headed by Tyler. Megan has whipped up a collection of tarts – think lemon meringue, berry and chocolate – quiches, apple tarte Tatin and basque cheesecake. There’s also a signature choux pastry bun that you’ll find nowhere else, piped full of passionfruit or apple crumble.
“One of the biggest things with The Pantry Is being able to bring our group’s level of hospitality into a retail or grocery setting,” Gary adds. “The Pantry’s team of restaurant managers and chefs have worked with us for many years and understand the importance of having a relationship with guests. We want to know our customers by name and know what they order so that we can help them find their usual or find something new.”
Homeware & gifting
The homeware and gifting section, curated by Marble Group’s creative director Irene Kyriacou, features an assortment of items made especially for Marble and Saint, but also functional homeware items for serving or gifting. Rialheim platters and vases, Okra candles, and 100% cotton table linen from African Jacquard.
“Everything in the store has been selected to either be used with your purchases, in your home or as a beautiful gift,” says Irene Kyriacou.
Irene once again partnered with GRID and Reddeco to bring the 1000m² Pantry space to life. Organic shades of green brush the walls, laser cut wooden trellis cover the ceiling and Wolkberg cement tiles adorn the façade of the kitchen. Retro elements of curved lines, rounded edges covered in cork and terrazzo marble counters give the space a mid-Century feel. Overall, the space has been transformed into one with warmth and one that feels relaxed, modern and wholesome.
The forecourt, traditionally quite dark, had been made lighter with an installation of wood slats and green foliage. “Because we are underneath a building, it was quite a dark space,” explains Irene. “To make it lighter we added the wooden ceiling – it softens the space and draws your eyes in.”
The progression of products allows customers to spend as much time as they need in the store – from quick convenience to thoughtful gifts. It’s the new one stop. So, whether you need to grab-and-go (with or without a speciality coffee) that litre of milk because you’ve “just run out”, or you want to curate a dinner experience (complete with gifts and wine), The Pantry is for you.
The Pantry will be open seven days a week, 24-hours a day. It is located just off the corner of Jellicoe Avenue, on Jan Smuts Avenue in Rosebank.