The Pantry stocks up ahead of opening

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South Alive community co-ordinator Nikki Aaron (left) and The Pantry store manager Lisa Mohenoa with one of the reusable cloth (boomerang) bags which will be available for shoppers. Photo: Janette Gellatly

THE Pantry will open in South City on Monday, May 8.

Located in the former Bin Inn building on Grace St, stage one of the renovated and refitted South Alive’s The Pod will house the organisation’s social enterprise store, The Pantry.

Store manager Lisa Mohenoa said it was named The Pantry because it would stock the things people would normally have in their own pantries at home.

The store will stock the same products as the Bin Inn, including bulk foods, gluten-free and organic products, home-brewing items, bulk cleaning products, pet foods and products, and international foods including Dutch and Asian foods, and meat from South Africa. There will also be a cafe on the premises.

The store’s aim was to make South Alive a self-sustainable charity, Mrs Mohenoa said.

“All the profit from the shop will go back into the South Alive community projects and other expenses.”

Although about 15 to 20 volunteers had already signed up, more volunteers were needed, she said.

“Whether people were looking to give something to the community or even for some work experience, we would like to hear from them.”

Tasks ranged from customer service, stocking shelves to cleaning, and anything in between.

“Whether it is for a couple of hours or a couple of days each month.”

The store will open Monday to Friday, 9.30am-5.30pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 10am-3pm.

Although The Pantry would open on the Monday, the official opening would be Saturday, May 13, beginning at 9am, with much fanfare, she said.

“We wanted to have a soft opening to ease in before the official opening on the Saturday.”

Stage two of the build will create the community spaces, including a community kitchen, meeting rooms and Koha Kai space and kitchen area, and outdoor areas.

As part of South Alive’s Zero Rubbish Project, reusable cloth bags will be available for free for patrons to use and return.

South Alive community co-ordinator Nikki Aaron said the bags, dubbed boomerang bags, had been made by volunteers for people to use and return.

“As there will be no plastic shopping bags in The Pantry, we have a stockpile of boomerang bags in the shop for when people forget to bring their cloth bag, which they can bring back the next time.”

Although 150 bags had already been made, the goal was to have 500 bags, she said.

Material had been donated by Spotlight, as well as Norma and Colin Anderson.

More sewers were needed, Ms Aaron said.

Anyone interested in taking part in the project could contact Ms Aaron at South Alive on 218 6882, or to volunteer at The Pantry they could drop by the South Alive Hub at the rear of the South City Mall and fill out a registration form or email manager@thepantry.co.nz

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