Micha Landmann tells us about The Village Pantry health food store in Waterkloof

The Village Pantry is the weekday alternative to the Saturday morning Boeremark. They invite local and small scale farmers to offload their fresh produce such as vegetables, fruits and meats in order to provide their clients with the freshest and finest quality foods they can find.

How did your business start?
I moved to Pretoria at the beginning of 2016 and I wanted to purchase raw milk, which I couldn´t find. I then visited some friends and mentioned this to them and they jokingly suggested that I should maybe start an organic food store, since Pretoria doesn’t have one. This dinner event some months back ended up being a brainstorming session for what’s now known as The Village Pantry.

Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
Initially we wanted to set up shop in the hip and upcoming area “The Village”, hence the name “Village” in our branding, but then soon realised the potential of the Waterkloof Corner which is surrounded by a large residential area with a proper LSM.

How did you find your premises?
I drove around looking for suitable spaces in nearby shopping malls and interviewed the mall management on availability of spaces.

Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
The store has good visibility and there are many residential homes and schools in the area.

Who are your neighbours?
A flower shop, a doctor, a beauty shop and a pharmacy.

What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
Suitably high.

How many people go through your store each day?
As we only opened our doors at the end of November last year, we haven’t focused on counting the footfall, but we have loads of eager faces popping in and good initial purchasing power.

Do you have any expansion plans?
No, not at this stage. However, we’ll be planning to expand our own supply chain a bit where there’s a need in order to provide our clients with the entire value chain that organic products can offer.

Do you operate online as well?
Yes, we’re in the process of starting an online store so that our customers can order online.

What’s your most popular item?
At this stage, it’s our organic coffees consumed on site and various fresh farm produce.

The Village Pantry
061 385 8069
villagepantry.co.za

Words and images: Zena le Roux

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