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The Open Pantry Podcast

Author: Shaun de Vries

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The Open Pantry Podcast is a hospitality podcast where I interview people within the hospitality industry about their lives both in and outside the industry.
Our podcast aims to show that the thing that links all people in hospitality is a want to be creative, support each other and always do better. We hope you enjoy the episodes.
38 Episodes
Episode 36 - Cargo Crew Led by originality and fashion design heritage, Cargo Crew have taken a fresh approach to uniform design that delivers style together with functionality.Cargo Crew believes good design puts functionality at its heart, which is why they obsess over every detail, every button, every seam, to ensure our uniforms not only look the part, but are high-performing.Led by their "Performance with Passion" approach, Cargo Crew are committed to delivering value through design and style that can't be defined purely as uniform.In this episode I talk to the founder of Cargo Crew, Felicity Rodgers and we discuss:-What made her start the Cargo Crew brand-Why Cargo crew was made for hospitality -Why was the range scaled overseas and what successes have they had-Where she made the move to a bigger HQ and where she wants to take the brand nextWe hope you really enjoy this episode and please make sure you check out the Cargo Crew brand in the following places: always please send us your feedback on the podcast here:
In this episode we catch up with Jemma from the burger truck Notorious E.A.T again after 18 months and see how she has developed her food truck business in the Gold Coast, Australia. We cover how she has built it since, how catering has played a major role in her growth, her thoughts on the food truck and craft brewery scene and most importantly how she remains happy every. I hope you enjoy the episode.
Episode 34 - How Balwyn Canteen became one of the best burger shops in Melbourne by working with food influencersI feel so lucky to have DJ Richards finally on a podcast after years of asking.  He and his wife Adela have built one of the best burger/donut businesses in Melbourne and in this podcast, we go through step by step in how they built it.Working as a chef for many years, he wanted to combine his love of baking and burgers and create their second very successful venture, Balywn Canteen.  DJ and Adela were self-aware enough to use the power of social media in 2015/16 to grow their first venture, Heroes, and realised that the food influencers were gaining a lot of prominence and exposure on social media.They were smart enough to foster the power of social media and work with the influencer brigade to gain market insights and product development ideas in a saturated Melbourne burger landscape.  Today Balywn Canteen stands as one of the best, most loved and most creative burger and donut venues in the country and this podcast shows how DJ and Adela were able to build it without losing their humble appeal.If you are starting a venue now or looking to seriously grow revenue, then this is a must-listen!Discover Balwyn Canteen here: always please feel free to reach out to us on:
Episode 33 - Joshua Kopel and how his southern charm and cuisine has taken over the LA restaurant and bar scene In this laughter packed episode I have the pleasure of talking to Joshua Kopel, owner of Preux and Proper, South City Fried Chicken and Five0Four Hollywood.  We talk about how he came up through the industry from working in some of the busiest bars in the south to owning a Fine Dining venue in LA.Hailing from humble beginnings in Baton Rouge, LA, owner/operator Joshua Kopel wanted to bring a little bit of The South to Southern California. In 2010 he opened Five0Four, a New Orleans style bar, in Hollywood. Four years later, Kopel looked to DTLA, broadened his focus from Bourbon Street to The South as a whole, and opened up Preux & Proper. After a rocky first year in The Fashion District, Kopel was ready call it quits. In walks Sammy Monsour, a third generation chef that grew up in his father’s kitchen in Chapel Hill, NC.  Kopel and Monsour hit it off instantly, and what came to fruition was the best kind of Southern. Monsour’s food encompasses his classical training at the CIA, his Lebanese ancestry, and his Southern roots. It’s like your grandma’s food went to school, traveled around the world, and came back to you beautifully plated with one hell of a story to tell. It is their mission to inspire Southern Culture and Hospitality throughout their restaurant and community and that really comes through on this valuable podcast.Please follow Joshua here:joshua@justcallflo.comwww.joshkopel.comwww.justcallflo.com always please feel free to reach out to us on:
Episode 32 - Sash Fernando from Principle DesignIn this episode of the Open Pantry Podcast I talk with the Sash Fernando founder of the prominent Melbourne creative studio, Principle Design.Principle Design specialises in Design Strategy, Branding & Graphic Design to name but a few which allows us to have an in-depth discussion about the role that branding plays in any successful hospitality brand.  Sash and I discuss about many design components including why design is so important for a hospitality brand, how the elements of a hospitality brand are being used for so much more than a logo, and how his team is able to develop a clients idea into a sustainable brand with a vision for growth.We especially touch on one of their newest projects, Chunky Town, and how he and his team were able to build it from ground up on just a product sample from an open-minded client.With their experience working with such hospitality brands as Sushi Hub, Ika8 and Ms Collins, this is a powerful conversation in which both the experienced and non-experienced hospitality people will gain a lot from.Please discover Principle Design here to see their great work- always please let me know your feedback
Episode 31 - Doug Koob from Circle Alliances: How to build a strong hospitality brand with Starbucks StrategyIn this episode I talk with Doug Koob, the founder of hospitality consulting brand Circle Alliances in the USA.  They help clients build brands, create memorable experiences and deliver on outstanding financial results.Doug has been in the hospitality industry from an early age, starting with Starbucks in the very early days, at about 75-100 cafes.  He subsequently saw the development and evolution of this brand as it became one of the biggest brands in the world.  He has worked with Starbucks both in North America and Europe which has given him many experiences and lessons that we deconstruct over this 40 minute conversation.We talk about how Starbucks used their mission statement to build its team culture, why strategy is so important as you build your hospitality brand, the power of connections in your industry, and how and why the hospitality industry is changing and how to stay ahead of the curve.Doug is such an easy person to talk to and not only does he talk common sense in this podcast, but he also gives great points which will make you think and develop ideas for your hospitality business.I highly recommend that you reach out to Doug if you are developing your hospitality brand in North America, and no doubt Open Pantry Co. and Circle Alliances will do some work together in the future as we share excellent concepts in each others markets.Please find the details to contact Doug below and the link to this great conversation:
Episode 30 - Adriano Zumbo

Episode 30 - Adriano Zumbo


In this episode I am lucky to talk to the ‘Sweet Assassin’, Adriano Zumbo. We talk about how he got his start in the industry, how he developed his first bakery in Balmain, Sydney, the story behind his first appearance on Masterchef and he talks openly about his challenges of the last few years. In this very honest interview we discuss where the industry could go next and what he hopes to do next in his career.
Episode 29 - Jared Merlino from Bartolo, Surry Hills, SydneySince opening in November 2018, it was always Jared’s vision to create a venue where patrons could feel at home, whilst settling in to enjoy the incredible food and drinks on offer. During this time an application was submitted for a PSA (Primary Service Authorisation), which would allow guests to drink without dining. With the approval of Bartolo’s PSA and the opportunity to offer later night trading, Jared’s vision is finally being realised and he is excited to be able to provide customers with more of what he does best, alongside the wonderful Grazia di Franco, who is responsible for Bartolo’s innovative seasonal cocktail menu. In this episode we talk about Jared's journey from working as a kitchen hand in a gentleman's club, to working with Merivale group in Sydney for 6 years and running Ivy, one of the best bars in Sydney.If you are scaling a hospitality brand and want to make sure that it stays authentic, then I know this podcast is going to offer you a lot of value.Please check out Jared's venues below to see what his group is about:Bartolo: Plantation: KittyHawk: Poppa's: always please reach out to me with any feedback on the podcast on to nominate a guest I should talk to:
Episode 28 - How to make your restaurant the 'comeback story'In this episode I talk with the amazing restaurant owner Sylvie Gabriele of Love and Salt LA.Since the opening in late 2014, Love & Salt has garnered critical attention for the reinvention, as well as the restaurant’s SoCal interpretation of Italian cuisine, including recognition as one of Los Angeles Magazine's top ten new restaurants of 2015. That same year Forbes described the evolution as "L.A.'s Best Restaurant Comeback Story.”Sylvie’s fastidious approach to managing all aspects of the restaurant — from the warm service to the branding and creative marketing — have contributed to Love & Salt’s continued growth and success as a mainstay not solely in Manhattan Beach, but in Los Angeles proper.We talk about how Sylvie has managed to take a venue that was famous for what her father Guy Gabriele did with Cafe Pierre, and make it a powerhouse venue on Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles.The best way to find out about Love and Salt LA is in the following links: Open Pantry Podcast is brought to you by Open Pantry Consulting.  Please make sure you check us out and leave your feedback here:
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