A real farm stall in the center of Pretoria. Elsa’s has been serving the community for the past 52 years. It as an outstanding achievement to survive in today’s difficult economic circumstances.
Elsa’s provides mouth watering delicacies and meals for the working woman, busy mother, hungry men, anxious hosts, the elderly who lost their desire and ability to cook, hungry and sweet toothed teenagers, birthdays, funerals, office parties, meetings, school functions, retirement villages and sometimes even weddings.
There is a warm, friendly,cozy and caring atmosphere in the shop – one gets the impression of honest interest in your well being. Proverbial mountains are moved to accommodate customers – sometimes to save them out of a difficult situation or to provide them with good advice and to sometimes provide people what they need on very short notice.
Many tales are told daily by the ex-learners of Hoër- and Laerskool Menlopark – stories of remembrance about Tannie Elsa and Elsa’s from 1963 until now. When a man enters through the door and heads straight towards the doughnut shelve, you know that he grew up here. There is also always a tale or two to tell.
Tannie Elsa, the original owner, sold the broken koeksisters to children for 5c each per small box. They called it “floppies”. One day, a man who now lives in Nelspruit, entered and asked if we still sold tripe. We could not understand what he meant. The shop was never a butchery and has never sold meat. We then realized he was referring to the “floppies”.
Many customers know one another and socialize in the shop. Many stories and conversations start with : “Do you remember when we were still primary school kids…” or “Do you remember when there was still an open veld across the street…?” The community laugh and cry together. Here, many people bump into each other after a long time of not seeing each other. They then buy of the savoury and sweet delicacies, meals for their parents, sick friends, sad neighbours – salads, big cakes, tarts or rusks.
Elsa’s serves many traditional dishes, i.e. a very popular chicken pie, bobotie, wonderful milk tart, individual meat, chicken, lamb and cornish pies. You will also find lasagna,vegetables, small cookies and a range of tasty quiches. There is a long list of savoury and sweet finger eats which are sold per dosen or on trays.
Sarna and Magriet are of the opinion that the success of the shop is due to the wonderful community. They are friendly and honest Christian people. People become friends with everyone and that makes Elsa’s a treat. They even know the countless homeless people in the community and their stories. Sometimes these homeless people go to sleep after enjoying a delicious boere vetkoek.
Sarna and Magriet are the owners. Carenè is responsible for the cash register and the fore shop. De Jager, Sarna’s brother, is a great handyman and he helps where necessary. Jaco, Magriet’s husband, is the shop’s accountant. It is therefore a family business in the true sense of the word.
Simon is the messenger who makes the deliveries and does all the purchases. He has been working at Elsa’s for more than 20 years. There are 11 women who bakes everything that is sold in the shop. All of them have been working at Elsa’s for between 5 and 30 years. In 2012, Ester retired after 41 years of working at Elsa’s. Sarna and Magriet train them well in baking and preparing the meals and delicacies.
Many of the shops in 13de Straat have been there for a long time. The owners know and help each other, offer needed support when necessary and serve the community together.
We would like to thank our loyal customers for their support. For those who have not popped in yet – come and see everything we are offering!