Unlike fairy tales and Hollywood movies, the best dreams do not come to life merely by chance. They are realized when one is open to the opportunities the universe affords them and when someone is not only able to identify a problem but to provide a feasible solution. When someone dares to say out loud that something is missing from the world + that they want to be the brave soul who takes on the challenge of filling the void. This exact situation occurred when Pantry Products’ founder, Michelle identified the need for truly natural, truly chemical-free products consumers could turn to in a misleading and toxin-filled personal care market.
In 2015, upon realizing what was hidden in the mass-produced personal care products on her shelves and how simply these same products could be crafted naturally, Michelle began whipping up health + wellness goodies for her friends + family with items she sourced from her kitchen pantry (in case you wondered where the name “Pantry” can from).
She applied her lifetime of crafting, her nearly two decades in corporate marketing, and her tireless work ethic to bring Pantry from her teeny Reno kitchen to her first storefront in less than 6 months. Since then, Pantry Products has grown to over 90 products, 3 brick + mortar locations, and 100s of wholesale stockists across the U.S. But, not without A LOT of hard work, late nights, and support from her personal network, and her dedicated Pantry team members.
Pantry’s first store. located in The Basement, was known as The Pantry Vault because it was located inside an old, you guessed it, vault. This teeny space was less than 200 square feet and housed a handful of products on shelves custom-built using copper pipes reclaimed from The Basement. With just one shop employee helping Michelle (when she wasn’t working her full-time Marketing job), this little space was home for retail operations but also product production. Everything from lip balms to hand soaps and face masks to bath bombs was created in this space, by these two. The Vault was where many of our customers first met us, drawn in by the smells emanating from this concrete cave. People tentatively walked in, discovered what we were doing, and selected products to try out. These same people still visit us today and have been crucial in the growth Pantry has experienced. It was in this space that our photographer, Abbey Kay, first discovered our hand soap + coffee body polish + was instantly hooked.
Within a matter of months, we out grew our beloved (but limited) Vault. When a shop space in The Basement offering better visibility, running water, a closet, and 2 windows (this is huge in a basement) opened up around the corner from The Vault, we didn’t hesitate to snag it up. It was larger than The Vault which allowed us to increase our production capabilities, grow our product line, and increase our staff. It also meant more room for new + existing customers to peruse our handmade wares.
Since we were able to offer more products in this space, we kept dreaming, growing, and coming up with new ways to push the limits of what we thought Pantry Products could be and achieve. We also enjoyed inventing new ways to decorate our favorite feature: the window light well. It’s seen everything from hay stacks and pumpkins to a fully decorate Christmas tree and 7′ inflated flamingo floatie resting on hundreds of beach balls. It’s still one of our highlights of this space.
In 2018, we moved into our second Reno location on Wells Avenue. This space was nearly four times the size of our store inside The Basement + it was key in helping to again expand the production side of Pantry Products. This new space allows to house more back stock to meet the demand from our retail and wholesale customers, provides a private space to host our workshops, + a roomy place to create more products.
Our next adventure will be opening up shop in Detroit, Michigan where boss lady Michelle was raised. We are so excited to head back to her roots + to share the Pantry Products we love with the city that she loves. Who says you can’t go home again?
(exterior mock-up of Pantry Detroit)
We’ve enjoyed being a part of your lives over the years + we can’t wait to add even more joy to your home through clean products. Stay tuned to see what’s next!
– The Pantry Team