When Pakington Pantry opened its doors four years ago, it was love at first sight for many of the locals. With friendly staff, specialty coffee and delicious food, it is now the go-to spot for Newtown residents.
In 2013 husband-and-wife team, Anne-Maree and Matthew Dulic, returned to their hometown of Geelong to open a cafe. After years of living in Melbourne and enjoying the city’s high quality cafes, the two decided it was time that Geelong had somewhere that was on par with the city’s offerings. With years of hospitality experience under their belt and a shared love of coffee, they set to work, opening Pakington Pantry on Pakington Street.
As you wander down the busy street, the cafe will be near impossible to miss: the jet-black exterior and large open window are the first indications of the industrial styling inside. If you’re short on time, pop by the coffee window for your caffeine fix, or if you’ve got an hour or two up your sleeve, take a seat – there’s much more than just coffee in store. If the sun is shining, choose a table outside, where you can soak up the vibrant atmosphere of the area.
Once you’ve found a comfortable spot, turn to the coffee. Place your trust in Head Barista, Rujeko Muzwidzwa; she is a whiz with the coffee machine and has been with Pakington Pantry from the very beginning.
The house blend is Five Senses’ Dark Horse, with beans from Columbia and Nicaragua. The blend present herbal aromas and dark chocolate flavours, with hints of blackcurrant notes. If you’re not in the mood for a hot creamy latte, try one of the alternative brewing methods on offer like the cold brew or cold drip.
Now that you’re settled with a coffee in hand, take a moment to look over the food menu. Pakington Pantry offers an extensive range of sweet and savoury meals, with options ranging from the shakshuka eggs with Middle Eastern spices, tomato sauce and crumbled Yarra Valley Persian feta, to the delicious pear granola. For lunch, try the soft tacos with slow-braised beef brisket, adobo chipotle and lime salsa and pickled red onions; or the harissa lamb shish kofta, served with Lebanese fattoush salad, lemon vinaigrette and pomegranate dressing.
Pakington Pantry’s community involvement goes beyond providing great coffee and food to the locals. Anne-Maree and Matthew are also involved with other social initiatives, including the annual CafeSmart, where one dollar of every coffee sold on the day is donated to fund local projects, helping those who are homeless.
There is no doubt that Pakington Pantry has made quite the impression on the Geelong community. With brilliant coffee, delicious food and lively atmosphere, it has been a recipe for success.