After 8 years trading at the Rustic Pantry in Moruya, radiograhers Bronwyn and Phil Carter are taking a step back from their roles in wholefood retail. Elisa Johnson and Nicholas Bell, both with backgrounds in food handling and preparation, are ‘sea/tree changers’ from Dulwich Hill Sydney, and took over the business in March.
LtoR: Bronwyn Carter, Nick Bell, Elisa Johnson, Philip Carter.
It took Bronwyn and Philip Carter about 12 months to develop the store from scratch, opening doors for trading for the first time in February 2011. Rustic Pantry trades a very wide range of wholefood, gluten free, organic and Fair Trade products, as well as environmentally friendly household cleaning products.
Products range from liquid soaps, dishwasher powder and laundry detergent to gluten-free cereals and flour, pasta, nuts and dried fruit. The store sells a wide range of vegan products, but also caters to dairy lovers selling milk, yoghurt and a good selection of Tilba Dairy cheeses.
“I have had the pleasure of seeing my original vision for Rustic Pantry come to life. It has been more than a business to me. Rustic Pantry made it possible for me to offer Moruya and its visitors an alternative food shopping experience, embracing values of sustainable and fair food production” said Bronwyn.
“When we started we knew nothing. It was hard work to open, but a great experience. Overall it has been a fantastic way to get to know Moruya, and become part of the community”, added Phil.
“The people of Moruya have helped to make the Rustic Pantry a success, and I am excited to now be able to pass on the experience and opportunity of Rustic Pantry to Elisa and Nick. I look forward to watching them thrive in their new life here, on the beautiful far south coast”.
A fundamental principle of Rustic Pantry’s style of trading is to minimize waste. Customers are encouraged to bring their own containers and purchase exactly the amount they need. The price of a product is the same per 100g whether you purchase 50g or 1kg. If you don’t have a container with you, then use one of the paper bags provided.
Craig Reucassel’s series War on Waste which screened on ABC TV in 2017-18, shone a spotlight on society’s issues dealing with waste, and the ongoing problem of waste for the health of our planet, as well as the expense.
Elisa, the new Store Manager, has been a follower of the low waste movement for about 10 years, and regards this as an opportunity to help customers to get on board with the idea of minimizing the amount of waste each household generates.
“Everyone needs to think about how much rubbish they generate especially the single-use plastic that can’t be re-cycled, and is now wrapped around just about everything you buy, along with styrofoam, on produce from supermarkets. Managing the Rustic Pantry is an opportunity for me to do more to help minimize waste, and enjoy living in a rural seaside community while I’m doing it” she said. “In so far as it’s possible, we will buy unpackaged food products bulk, and customers can serve themselves as much or as little as they like – in their own containers, or in a paper bag to take home”.
Nicholas is feeling very upbeat about the change. “Since we got here we have been renting in Tuross Heads, with an ocean view which in Sydney would be worth millions! We will be moving into our own place in Moruya later in March without ocean views, but with trees and a 10-15 walk into the shop. It’s a big change from the city, but we are both really enjoying it”.