A world-first in mouth-watering fresh, healthy food was launched at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) in Brisbane today during the official opening of the ‘City Pantry, an emporium of customised vending machines providing ready access to a broad selection of nutritional produce, food and drinks.
The unique pantry of goodies means that hospital visitors, patients and staff now have better access to a wide range of wholesome food 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
City Pantry is lead by Queensland fruit growers, the Mackay family, and is attracting widespread interest in Queensland, inter-state and abroad.
The vending machines are stocked daily with seasonal fruit and vegetables, nuts and ready-made snacks of ripe avocado, cherry tomatoes and crackers, healthy meals, Greek-style gourmet yoghurts, fresh salads, smoothies and gluten-free savoury snacks.
According to Mackay family grower and agri-businessman, Daniel Mackay, City Pantry is about making better eating simple, affordable and ensuring it tastes great.
“We all know that vending machines can provide us with snack foods and drinks, but how hard can it be to grab basic healthy food, like a banana, when you are out and about?,” said Mr Mackay.
“Growing up on a farm, great-tasting wholesome food was a part of life. But sadly, for a lot of people it’s not so easy to eat well.
“We have developed the world’s first pantry outside of the home that makes eating better a whole lot easier.”
The Mackay family worked with Brisbane-based fruit and vegetable marketers, Fresh Produce, and other Queensland growers to evolve the City Pantry concept.
According to Fresh Partners Director, Mike Evans, the development of City Pantry stemmed from Queensland-based consumer research which identified the need for ready access to fresh food.
“We identified a strong demand for easy access to fresh snacks and food outside of major shopping zones and main business operating hours,” said Mr Evans.
“This is an innovative approach with an old-style pantry edge which we hope to extend further afield so that many people can benefit.”
RBWH Acting Commercial Services Manager, Ralda MacGregor, said City Pantry is a welcome addition to the organisation’s services.
“Having a healthy option for a busy nurse, an on-call surgeon, a dad waiting for his new child to arrive, or the family of someone in Emergency is crucial,” said Ms MacGregor.
“The fact that the food is fresh and locally grown is a bonus.”
City Pantry includes two well-known fresh food vending machines also created by the Mackay Family - ‘Banana BarTM’ and ‘FruitbarTM’ - along with a new gourmet meal and snack range. RBWH’s City Pantry is now open 24 hours a day, seven days per week and is situated alongside microwaves and a comfortable dining space.
The Mackay Family and Fresh Partners acknowledge the ongoing support of RBWH Food Services who have helped to turn this concept into reality.
For more information, images of the launch or to arrange an interview, contact:
Fresh Partners Director, Mike Evans,
M: 0419 843 253.
Fresh Partners Communications,
Julie Lloyd, M: 0415 799 890.
The City Pantry at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH), Brisbane.
Tuesday 18 August, 2015