Cellar and Pantry is the kind of place that punctuates a day on the Peninsula: you can start your day there with a coffee, stock up on groceries for lunch, and finish with a local beer, wine or cider on the deck.
Owners Dee and Joe Caligiuri first stumbled on the then small, run-down food store back in 2003, during a bike ride through the winding roads of Red Hill. The pair were holidaying in nearby Sorrento, and immediately saw the old building's potential to become a foodie destination on the coast.
Since taking over and revamping the store, they've transformed it into a thriving hub where the local community gather to stock up on essentials. The space now encompasses a café, provedore, and post office, with a playground, nature reserve and popular walking tracks just across the road.
A small window at the front of the store serves quality coffee from St. Ali and a selection of pastries, pies, seasonal salads, and toasted Turkish rolls. Unsurprisingly, 'The tradie' is the most popular item on the menu – featuring house-made tomato relish, bacon, and poached eggs. It's simple and seriously satisfying fare.
Inside, you'll find 700+ handpicked products from over 100 local suppliers. Dee and Joe are committed to showcasing local producers and housing the best that the Mornington Peninsula has to offer under one roof. What does it take for a product to win a spot on the shelves? "It has to be bloody good", says Dee.
Alongside rows of local produce, there's freshly baked bread from Bakery Lieveto, free-range eggs from Lil's Yolky Dokey Farm, and bundles of native blooms from Peninsula Wild Flower. The delicatessen is filled to the brim with specialty cheeses and charcuterie, and there's extra virgin olive oil on tap. Open fridges are choc-o-block with ready-made meals from Foxes Den, Miller’s Bread Kitchen, Art Tarts and Little Oven, making midweek dinners a breeze.
The team demonstrate a clear commitment to sustainability, working hard to reduce food miles and minimise their impact on the local environment. Solar panels line the roof, and there's a sizeable composting facility at the back of the property for green waste. They've even invested in a chemical-free cleaning system that creates sanitiser from salt and water. It's a win-win for their staff, customers and surrounding ecosystems.
The cellar located at the back of the store boasts a selection of local wines, craft beers and boutique, handmade and artisanal spirits. Whilst there's a huge range to choose from, the focus is on quality. "The local palate is growing, and people want interesting products rather than just your run of the mill", explains Joe.
You'll find locals gathered each afternoon for casual drinks and cheese boards on the deck. With over 300 wines in store, you can choose your favourite bottle to kick back and enjoy with corkage. Afterwards, you can pat yourself on the back, knowing you’ve done your part to support local makers, growers and suppliers right here on the Ninch.
Cellar and Pantry are open from 8am daily for all your home and kitchen needs. Keep an eye out on their website for upcoming tastings, in-store promotions and events.