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Published July 3rd 2017
Soothing Your Soul with Plants, Flowers and Cheese
In a world of balcony gardens, growing delectable edibles and yearning for a peaceful, reflective space, greening your home has never been more popular. The new Soul Pantry may be just the place to help you stock up on the plants and greenery you need to bring a piece of garden paradise to your space.
Layered hanging baskets
Patricia Foley and the team at The Soul Pantry re-located its garden, café and décor store from Newmarket (and its temporary pop up shop in New Farm) to re-establish this green oasis in Wolverhampton Street in Stafford just 8kms from the CBD.
The sprig of rosemary on the logo marks the Soul Pantry
The site was formerly a taxi depot so the Soul Pantry crew weaved its creativity wand to breath new, fresh life into the space. As someone who regularly visited and adored the previous incarnations of the shop, I was keen to drop by and see what the new store was like.
I was instantly relieved by the familiarity of seeing that (like the Newmarket shop) the Soul Pantry mark 3 is located in an industrial tin shed. While it has been given a facelift (look out for the really cool circular windows on the outside), it doesn't lose its raw, original edge. The Soul Pantry flung open its doors on Saturday 1 July 2017 to welcome others to experience the shop.
Plants, Flowers and home decor After stepping inside the slate coloured warehouse, I was instantly greeted by plants - Indoor plants, hanging baskets, and fresh flowers. There are ready to go options like the macramé holders, succulents and glass terrariums to instantly green up your urban spaces. Ferns and potted climbers look lovely on balconies and indoors and I found several of these.
The Soul Pantry specialises in floral arrangements for weddings, special occasions or just because. Glen Levingstone is on site (in an elevated office overlooking the entire floor space) to give advice. Scattered through the shop is a range of home décor items like coffee table books, hand creams and carry baskets which make for perfect gifts.
An indoor garden cafe After all that browsing, who doesn't crave a coffee. I was drawn towards the indoor café which operates out of a shipping container and is a centrepiece of the warehouse. Light treats including croissants, muffins and slices and lunch items are a nice companion to your coffee. The café stocks Jocelyns Provisions and I enjoyed a wonderfully tart lemon slice.
The café is lined with spill friendly astro turf, bean bags, magazines and even a dart board. Three's also an outdoor seating area in a covered balcony at the side of the shop. The dark grey covered balcony has been given a subtle treatment being trimmed with rows of cacti, hanging baskets and a bench to overlook a grassy Kedron Brook. There's a small children's play area at th corner of the balcony to keep the little ones occupied with toys and a tee-pee.
What is my personal standout? The Cheese Board The biggest surprise was finding a second and white shipping container housing artisan cheeses. The Cheese Board is operated by Wendy who sells a boutique range of fresh cheeses and offers taste tests of her amazing products. I enjoyed an exquisite goats cheese. Future plans include creating an onsite "Cheese Cave."
Learn a new skill at a Soul Pantry Workshop If all of this has left you even more inspired to green your home, The Soul Pantry continues to offer its range of workshops in the skills of making garden accessories like kokedama (a string garden) and terrariums (a garden in glass). Check out their website for details.
The shop is at the end of Wolverhampton Street and a car lot is available at the back of the shop. Toilets are onsite just in case.
I must admit that it was difficult to leave but eventually I did and felt like I had experienced a sensory overload and a reprieve from the busyness of life. A visit to The Soul Pantry is indeed food for the soul.