Pannawonica is about to receive a fresh caffeine fix as food and facilities management services provider Sodexo Australia (Sodexo) opens the first Western Australian “We Proudly Serve Starbucks®” coffee offering.

After a couple of years in the making, this represents a $250,000 investment as part of Sodexo's complete refurbishment of the local Panna Café.

Pannawonica is an entirely self-contained town owned by Rio Tinto, home to approximately 700 people. 

Sodexo Assistant Village Manager and 10-year resident of Pannawonica, Diedre Clayson, said: “Everyone in town has been eagerly awaiting the launch of the new Panna Café.”

Panna Cafe Opening Invite poster“This town lives on coffee. Most people start their day at the café—it is a part of the daily ritual for the people at Pannawonica.”

“Our town is a quiet one, and Sodexo is accountable for everything that goes on. Despite being such a small and remote community, Sodexo continues to invest in facilities that benefit local residents and everyday life.” 

Phil Norris, Mine Operations Manager for Rio Tinto and a 4-year resident of Pannawonica, said: “Often Panna feels like it misses out on some of the luxuries of other places.”

“The Panna Café refurb will provide a great place to head down for a catch-up and a coffee, giving a small escape from remote living reality; for everyone from our mothers enjoying a morning walk to our town support services such as school staff and police.”

A three-hour drive southeast from Karratha, the nearest town, the small shire of Pannawonica relies heavily on Sodexo as part of its 10-year contract with Rio Tinto to deliver integrated facilities management services (IFMS) for its Pilbara operations in Western Australia.

Sodexo oversees all essential services in Pannawonica, from waste management to property and accommodation services; the company also manages the local post office, petrol station, supermarket, and other hospitality offerings.

This is the first “We Proudly Serve Starbucks®” coffee offering open to the public in Western Australia and the fourth total, including closed camps, all run by Sodexo.

Sodexo Australia Executive Director IFMS (Rio Tinto Iron Ore) Contract, Taryn Petersen, said: “It’s important to us that we bring quality offerings and service to the communities where we operate, even the most regional and remote. We hope the newly refurbished café will continue to be a hub for the community”.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore General Manager, Facilities, Toby Ellis said: “We put people at the heart of everything we do and continue to look at how we can enhance experiences in all our villages and towns."

“We are extremely excited to open the refurbished Panna Café, which will host another “We Proudly Serve Starbucks®” coffee offering available at our Facilities after its successful introduction in Yandicoogina last year.”

"We are delighted to offer the first "We Proudly Serve Starbucks®” coffee to the public in Western Australia.”

The grand opening of the Panna Café will take place on Friday, 7 July.

Sodexo and Rio Tinto have coordinated a community day full of activities, from street eats to live music.

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