Generally, when you go to a petrol station, you can expect to fill up your car’s tank, grab a small bite at the convenience store, freshen up and be on your way, however, this petrol station gives a whole new meaning to luxury service.
Going to The Pantry by Marble on Jan Smuts Avenue in Rosebank, Johannesburg, is an experience that allows a customer to relax and enjoy a bite at one of the fanciest pit stops in the country.
In a video posted on Mark Sham’s Like A Tourist page on on YouTube, restaurateur, owner and chef David Higgs revealed that The Pantry has become a gathering place, community centre, and a place where you can get something of restaurant quality to eat but not at restaurant prices.
“What we wanted to do with this petrol station grocer was to bring that hospitality factor from our restaurants into the grocer, into this kind of environment where there’s a lot of interaction between people, our staff and people that frequent us,” said Higgs.
When questioned by Sham on opening his hybrid petrol station, restaurant and convenient store, Higgs said opening something like The Pantry is a risk.
“Every time you open something, there is a risk involved. You never know if it’s going to work or not. However, I think if you put the right people in, if it’s of quality...
“You know people are working hard for their money so they are choosing where they spend their money. So it’s not just about the product, it’s also about the experience. And The Pantry is an experience,” said Higgs.
Higgs also highlighted that one of the biggest assets of the petrol station, grocer and restaurant, is its team.
“So we’ve got these people who understand restaurants, who understand people, who know how to talk to people and you end up with a package and you end up with an experience.
“It’s not just coming to shop, it’s an experience and through that, we’ve been lucky,” said Higgs.