Caroline Daniels walks with purpose through the parking lot and into the Foodbarn Deli. She is carrying precious cargo; the freshly baked goodies she is going to stack lovingly on the shelves.
You can spot Caroline with her brightly coloured tights from a mile.
Aunty Caroline is THE darling of the Deli. She makes the cakes and tarts and some pies as well as biscuits that keep our customers coming back for more good old traditional baking. She is a 58 year old “force” that has been baking for us for the last 13 years. Caroline loves to create things and everything is “my favourite”.
Her work day begins at 5am when her husband drops her off. “This is when I like to start the day and get my things in order. This is what I have always wanted to do”
But that is a very long day? “I don’t get tired”
Do you enjoy eating the goodies that you make? “Yes, and I love them all but I really enjoy the pies”
Caroline is a mother of two and a grandmother to three lucky kids. “I like to take them shopping and I end up buying them things instead of myself. I do their homework with them and I really enjoy maths” Caroline gets tears in her eyes when she speaks of her grandchildren.
Do you bake at home? “No, at home, I cook”.
What is the most important thing your children learned from you? “School is the most important thing, you have to finish school. My daughter is a travel agent and my son works for Community Chest in Cape Town”
What do you think is the issue with our country, is it a success? “There is nothing wrong with the people of this nation, it’s the people that run it that have a problem”
What do you do for fun? “I love to read and watch tv and go shopping.”
What do you most enjoy about working at The Foodbarn? “I love the fact that I can be creative. When somebody tells me that they loved their birthday cake, it’s like heaven for me. I enjoy the respect I get from my bosses and the things I have learned from them. When I started working here, I thought, “I really like these guys” and nothing has changed.”
What is it like working in this tiny kitchen so close to your colleagues? “I don’t mind the space and I really like the people I work with. This is my last job”. Caroline giggles. “I’m staying here until I retire if they will have me”
What do aspiring bakers need to know? “Creating something requires you to do it correctly from the beginning until the end. You have to be precise with measurements and time. It’s not like baking on tv!”
Caroline or Aunty Kay as we like to call her is always up for a laugh and she enjoys the naughty jokes. When you tell her something funny, she normally responds with a funnier chirp or she scrunches up her face and giggles like a young girl but this woman is no joke. She is at the very core of a big part of this business and we value and love her!
So who is Caroline Daniels? Caroline gives me her naughty smile and says:”I am a woman of mystery” and once again she makes me laugh. She is not a woman of many words but her actions speak volumes.
Pop in to the biscuit kitchen behind the deli and say hi to Caroline, she may even give you a little off-cut to taste!