The people in our lives: Queenie

When Elizabeth Zimowa first starting working here in 2010 as a mom of a 3 year old boy, she was a cashier at our Deli. It is customary to receive a nickname in our business and Elizabeth quickly became Queen … after THE Queen Elizabeth … Back then we received many a compliment about the smiling, beautiful face behind the counter. As time went by, she started waitressing at Tapas and eventually the main restaurant. She is now our receptionist and admin lady … the voice of the Foodbarn. There is not much about this business this young woman does not know.

What made you leave Zimbabwe?

I was unemployed and in search of “greener pastures”. My aunt who lived here, suggested I come so I lived with her in Khayelitsha for some time. I left my husband Bester behind (he is now working at the Village Roast, also in the Farm Village) and decided to look for something. I have lived in so many places like Elsies River, Ravensmead, Delft etc.

How is it that your Xhosa is so good?

I was born in Bulawayo and my mom was Ndebele; I picked it up easily

What do you love most about The Foodbarn?

There is no place like the Foodbarn. There is an opportunity for everyone to grow. The people are friendly. I enjoy my bosses (Pete, Franck and Lilian) and I enjoy sharing an office with them.

What are the challenges of the work you do?

“At first it was a bit challenging because I have to do so many things at the same time but now I enjoy it very much”

Queenie has recently qualified as a beauty therapist. She managed to do this in her own time. “My idea is to do it for extra income and I just love everything about beauty therapy. I am not leaving the Foodbarn anytime soon though”

What is the most difficult thing about being a working mom?

“For me, it’s not so difficult because I have a very supportive husband that helps with the kids and chores”

What do you do in your spare time?

“My spare time is scarce”, she laughs. When I get home, I try to spend time with the kids at the park, do homework. I’m quite a homely person.”

You always mange to look so lovely, what is your secret?

“I work so hard so I try to treat myself to something every month, maybe getting my hair done. I am a wig fanatic!” That is the truth, Queen has different hair every day!

Has South Africa given you a new home?

“It has but I will always dream about home and hope to get back there one day”

What is your advice to young women who are desperately looking for work?

“They should not stop looking; we all have to start somewhere.”

Do you eat Foodbarn Food?

‘Yes! I love the salads we get every day because I am trying to lose weight”. But as for the food on the menu, I have always loved the prawn tian even though it is not on the menu now. At the deli, my favourite is the chicken open toastie.

We are very proud to have “Queen” Elizabeth as the person that deals with our clients on the phone. The face is just as lovely as the voice and we love having her here!

chefs table: cape point vineyards