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Five-star cafe The Pantry saves Ara students all over campus

Thomas Flynn
The Pantry
The Pantry opening details 

The Pantry's cheap and delicious food is popular with students at Ara Institute of Canterbury.

This small cafe is located in the Ara court yard not too far from the administration office. The staff provide appetising food, packaged lunches, beverages, and many snacks you can take away.

The Pantry is proudly supported by other popular businesses such as C4, Hancocks Beer and Wine Merchants, Southern Hospitality, Moffat Ltd, and Akaroa Salmon.

Its full-time kitchen staff often use the students studying hospitality. The students are trained and practically assessed on their cafe serves as a part of their course.

Jessica Ownsworth, an 18-year-old student studying hospitality, said she loved The Pantry.

"It's a great place that gives me an opportunity to let people try the food I make."

The industry-focused bakery course prepares the students for future careers and helps them build their culinary style.

Dave Bradley said he had taught the course for six years and "absolutely" loved his job.

The 38-year-old cooking expert wanted to convert shy students into "confident baristas". His main goal was to get them "industry ready" by the end of the year.

Many students around the campus appreciate The Pantry for its affordable food and good atmosphere. Nick Roberts, an 18-year-old student studying business, said The Pantry was perfect for broke students "like myself".

This small cafe with a five-star rating is not just for the students, as its also open to the public. The employees are very welcoming and friendly which is perfect for students who are considering a career in hospitality.

Ex-student and front-of-house employee Daniel Priest, 26, was hoping he could pass on his knowledge.

General Manager Scott Nugent, 45, believes after working there for 10 years the industry was still "crying out for good bakers".

The Pantry used to be a little hole in the wall, strictly based on coffees and student practice. However, after some hard work and excellent management, it has moved on to be a successful business.