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2022-03-22

You can now fill your tank and get food advice from a chef at this Joburg forecourt

A deli, bakery, supermarket, takeaway, and retail store all in one is now available at this one-of-a-kind petrol station in Rosebank, Gauteng. It looks to elevate the retail industry and fuse it with hospitality.


Amanda Khumalo | Business Insider SA

The Pantry is not your ordinary petrol station store. The Marble Group, responsible for its high-end restaurants Zioux, Marble and Saint are responsible for reinventing your typical South African convenience store into a hybrid supermarket.

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Exterior and entrance to The Pantry (Supplied)
 

Together with Sasol the group has flipped the identity and what makes up a convenience store, while still staying true to being "easy".

"Through this unique partnership, consumers will also have access to Sasol's leading fuel," says Senior vice president: Sasol Energy’s Mobility & Customer Experience Business, Dumisani Bhengu.

Bhengu added that the partnership will take forecourt convenience to a new level. "The way in which people shop has changed, especially with the influence of the pandemic. The Group has seamlessly adapted to that change and tailored The Pantry to the changing buying habits of consumers."

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Inside The Pantry (Supplied)
 

Gary Kyriacou, one among three of The Marble Group founders, told Business Insider South Africa that according to PayPal consumers are leaning more to supporting local brands and shops, with 46% of consumers shopping in closer neighbourhood stores. Located on Jan Smuts Avenue, the store is situated in close proximity to multiple suburbs in the northern region of Johannesburg making it an ideal quick stop opposed to malls.

Located in Rosebank the store has a catalogue of 6,000 products, 95 of which are from local entrepreneurs such as Nobu spices, Wagyu steak, and doubleshot handcrafted Chai Tea to name a few.

Inside their deli...

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Inside their deli they have a variety of salads. Beetroot & Fig, Mushroom, Tomato & Burrata. (Supplied)
 

... and bakery

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Inside their bakery they have breads, cakes and pastries. Among them a signature choux bun piped full with passionfruit or apple crumble. (Supplied)
 

You can also get fresh cut meats at their deli and a variety of ready-to-go meals and an assortment of pastries and baked goods all prepared by their onsite kitchen staff overseen by Chef David Higgs, but headed by Chefs Tyler Clayton and Megan Meikle.

Don't let their bespoke architecture and interior design fool you into thinking they're expensive, they're reasonably priced. Their bakery items like their sourdough bread goes for R45,00 and asparagus tarts at R75,00; their flowers range from R350-R550 per bunch and their wine selection of white, red, and bubbles from R80-R550 per bottle.

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Among their products they have a homeware and gifting section. (Supplied)
 

 

Though typically fancier than normal petrol station stores, customers can still expect the same range of products found in typical stores, all the team has done was include household retail. So, yes, they do have nappies in case you run or even Tabard. They also operate 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.

"We've been overwhelmed with the response and level of support – it's been incredible and we are very grateful," says Kyriacou.  

Despite the hit the hospitality industry took in the last two years as a result of the pandemic they still believe an opportunity such as The Pantry helps to "diversify" the teams offering in the hospitality sector, "And it positions us well for future growth," he added.

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EV charging station. (Supplied)
 

 

The store also has an EV charging station to offer courtesy of Mercedes Benz and a deliver app which is still under development that can deliver products to you once it is up and running.


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