The team behind Co-lab Pantry are making it easier to support the hospitality community whilst enjoying our favourite meals (Cue: Cheeseburger Dumplings from Drumplings or Entrecôte's Secret Butter Herb Sauce), sweet treats (Ice Magic from Piccolina Gelateria) and even cocktails (Negroni from the Everleigh in Fitzroy), from the comfort of our own home.
They have partnered with restaurants, bars, chefs, local makers, producers and organisations using food for good to create a community that can continuously share, create and learn together - even when we aren't able to dine-in!
Whether you are taking part in one of their online workshops, searching through their curated directory, purchasing products to use at home, or a gift for a loved one, Co-lab Pantry has you sorted! We spoke to Natasha Buttigieg, one of the three masterminds, behind this exciting new virtual pantry!
Hi Natasha! When we came across Co-lab pantry, we were so excited to see what you have on offer! How did you come up with this concept?
Co-lab Pantry was born out of the first Covid-19 lockdown. Cafe’s, restaurants, bars and local producers were forced to cease dine-in and restrictions were put in place (allowing only take-away for pick up/deliveries). We were missing visiting our favourites and as we lived in the outer suburbs, this meant that we were unable to access delivery with most only servicing a 10-20km radius. So we decided to create a platform that allowed us to access the best from all corners of Vic. It turns out, we weren’t the only ones missing out. We have now expanded interstate – shipping most products Australia wide!
With so many amazing brands on offer - how do you curate the selection?
We all have a passion for food and food/Drink experiences – with backgrounds in hospitality and having been raised in Melbourne, we’re been brought up surrounded by great food and beverage. We’re spoilt for choice here in Melbourne, so with so many options available, we started reaching out to some of our favourites. We’re working on continuing to fill the gaps and continue to discover new brands daily. It’s so nice to be able to work with talented local producers, so curating selections becomes quite easy.
Tell us, what are your top 5 favourite products?
There’s so many to choose which makes it hard to narrow down. Some of our favourites would have to be Chotto Motto Crispy Chilli Oil, Entrecote’s Secret Herb Butter Sauce, Piccolina Ice Magic, King & Godfree Deli Goods and Market Lane Coffee – but there’s so many more!
Can you tell us any plans for the future?
Although Co-lab Pantry was conceived during the current pandemic, we definitely plan to stick around. We’re evolving and have some new and exciting projects we’re working on. Stay tuned!
That's great news, we look forward to shopping with you regularly! How has the support been from the online community since you started?
The online community has been so supportive and encouraging. It’s been so great to see consumers cross-purchase their favourites and be able to access items from every corner of Vic. We’re seeing so many mixed items added to customers carts – our Partners on the platform have been really humbled by the communities in general.
Co-lab pantry also run some amazing online events, from making fresh pasta with chef Robert Zumbo to wine tasting classes with Zonzo Estate. Check them out here. Or simply, shop their collection here.
Keep an eye out on our Instagram page in the coming days for a chance to win a Co-lab Pantry voucher!