Our mother, Emma, raised all 5 of us on the kitchen table, between the cuts in her butchery and, of course, outside on the farm. The same way she was raised by her own parents a mere two farms from where our story begins.
As our family farm, Leeuwenkuil, sits in a dry patch in the Boland, our mother was constantly on the lookout for greenery to surround our house with. Something leafy that didn't need too much water, could shield the house form the dusty South Eastern wind and big enough for us to play under. She finally settled on the beautiful pale green, and versatile, olive tree. She planted a grove to surround our home and with each growing harvest she made a variety of olive products.
Francisce, or as we like to call her - Pikkles, was always interested to see what our mother was busy with. Whether in the kitchen, the butchery, or the olive grove. She watched and learned all our mother's tips and tricks.
In 2012 to honour our mother, Emma Sophia Dreyer, Pikkels started Soefija's. Deli products made from generations of recipes and secrets, passed down from mother to daughter.
Why Soefija's and not Sophia or even Soefyja you might wonder?
First came Dolly Soefyja Coetzee, spelt the old Afrikaans way. Next was her granddaughter and our mother Emma Sophia Dreyer. Our grandfather Bokkie didn't think it possible to spell Sophia any other way, much to our grandmother Thelma's surprise upon inspecting her new-born's birth certificate. Lastly came Soefija's - the final in a long line of misspellings and miss-communications. According to numerous rumours told from one sibling to another - it just sounded cool.