The Pacific Pantry storefront at 229 S. Sequim Ave., will reopen on Saturday, April 1 — nine years from the day owner John Pabst first opened it.
The artisan deli/eatery was a local staple for eight years before closing on March 31, 2022, so that Pabst could focus his energy on events and festivals and spend more time with his family.
Pacific Pantry is known for its house produced deli meats and sausage, the locally sourced drinks and ingredients, local artwork on display and as a gathering place.
“I really missed being more a part of the community,” Pabst explained as one of his reasons for reopening. “Not having the storefront took us away from having a weekly presence in the community.”
He said that in his year away he has figured out how to run the eatery, continue to serve food at events and spend more time with the family.
Pacific Pantry will be open “three days a week, versus five or six,” Pabst said, thus “creating a more sustainable business model for our family.”
The Pabsts have three children.
“I’m really excited that he’s coming back to this in a more workable and sustainable way,” said Leslie Pabst, John’s wife, who will also work every open day at Pacific Pantry. She recently resigned from New Day Eatery in Port Angeles, where she worked for more than eight years.
Former employee Stacy Sevier will return to work on Fridays; she worked there for seven years before the storefront closed.
Pacific Pantry has been open on Fridays since June, serving pizza and salads to people who found out through social media and word of mouth.
After the April 1 reopening (hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m.), a full menu will be served on open days: Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., and Fridays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Familiar atmosphere, flavors
“The menu will be pretty much the same as before,” John Pabst said, with a few additions and a few deletions.
Local sources of ingredients and drinks include Chimacum Valley Grainery, Joy Farm, Chi’s Farm, Finn River Farm & Cidery, Wild Edge Farm, Beanstalk Farm, Sequim Spice & Tea, and Rainshadow Coffee Roasting Company.
“He makes everything (from scratch),” Leslie Pabst said, including bread, mustard and meat. She said that the bread is even sliced right before serving, to give the best flavor.
“It’s always been important,” John Pabst said. “We get half pigs, break them down, make the sausages ourselves.”
Last year, in an interview, he said, “The idea for the business was originally meat-centric and it morphed.”
In addition to the food and drink, the Pabsts are patrons of the local arts. They plan to expand the retail area and, as previously, have a rotation of artists display and sell their work at Pacific Pantry, beginning with Clallam County Poet Laureate Jaiden Dokken.
Dokken is not only a writer, but also a multi-talented artist. Their prints, pottery and textiles will be at the Pantry beginning with the grand opening. Dokken will be present selling work on the First Friday Art Walk as well.
After Dokken, Pabst says there will be a new artist every two to four months.
In the future, he said they will possibly have art classes combined with dinners “outside the normal menu,” local musicians playing in the backyard on Fridays and “we are looking at the potential to develop a market garden for the restaurant.”
Serving food as way of life
Both Pabsts have a history of being involved with food from a young age.
“I started out being a server at a friend’s restaurant,” Leslie Pabst said. “I loved it.”
Originally from southern California, she moved to Oregon at the age of 18 and discovered that she loved the Pacific Northwest. She moved back and forth a couple times, ending up working at the New Day Eatery, where she met John.
“I love talking to people about food,” she said. “If people come in cranky and I bring them coffee and food, they feel better.
“Working in the food industry, specifically in the PNW, has been amazing. It’s a tourist destination and I have met people from all over the world here for different reasons, ranging from hiking to Twilight. People are very excited to see the beauty of this area.”
John Pabst’s past was detailed in several previous Gazette articles. He grew up with parents who valued good food, studied culinary science in high school, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, and mentored under accomplished chefs, including Jerry Traunfeld’s Poppy in Seattle, before moving to Sequim to be near his parents and start his business, Misty Mountain Meats and Pacific Pantry.
“I love the process of creating food and working with local growers and producers of local products,” Pabst said.
“I love the way a good meal can brighten someone’s day. A restaurant can be a meeting place not only for people to gather with people they already know, but a place to meet new people in the community.
“Over the years there are a lot of local realtors that have met potential buyers at the pantry. I take that as a compliment that our place is who they trust and want to utilize as an introduction to our community. There has also been a handful of couples that are now married and have families that had their first date at Pacific Pantry.”
For more about Pacific Pantry, 229 S. Sequim Ave., visit pacificpantry.com or facebook.com/PacificPantry. Or, call 360-797-1221 or email to email@example.com.
Location: 229 S. Sequim Ave.
Hours/days: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays
Grand reopening: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 1
Contact: 360-797-1221, firstname.lastname@example.org
On the web: pacificpantry.com, facebook.com/PacificPantry.