food, News and Trends

Tannie Poppie And Her Roosterbrood Jet Off To Italy

Tannie Poppie, a 63-year-old entrepreneur from Laingsburg, will soon be sharing her delicious, freshly baked roosterbrood with Italian bread-lovers.

Instagram, Poppievanas

Tannie Poppie | House and Leisure

A friendship between a Capetonian cyclist, Stan Engelbrecht, and Karoo roosterbrood entrepreneur Rosaleen van As has blossomed into a life-changing experience for them both.

Engelbrecht explains how Tannie Poppie's roosterbrood became a bridge for a unique and strong friendship as over the years he began to learn more about her life and upbringing. 

'Poppie and I met by chance about six years ago, and I asked her to come and prepare her now-famous roosterbrood at a few of the bicycling races I organise,' he says. 'Over the years she has made roosterbrood at all my races, and she has become part of the family.' 

Tannie Poppie can be found selling her freshly baked roosterbrood at a small stall along the N1, and with perserverance and entrepreneurial savvy, she has been able to maintain her business over the years and make a name for herself. 

Her infectious positivity and local personality is evident throughout the video below, as she shares her excitement about travelling to Italy. 

Whilst working at Eroica South Africa, a cycling event in Montagu, Tannie Poppie gained attention of the Italian representatives of the race.

'Eroica is an Italian event that I manage locally. During their visit the Italian representatives were so impressed with Poppie, and so touched by her incredible life story, [that] they they invited her to Gaiole, Italy to attend the main Eroica event as a special guest,' explains Engelbrecht. 

As this will be the first time Tannie Poppie boards a plane, Engelbrecht and his girlfriend will travel with her as she explores the European country.  

'Since Poppie has never left the Western Cape in her life, we decided to take this opportunity to show her Italy for 10 days and take her on a road trip. It has always been her dream to travel overseas. At 63 and being from a poor community, she might never have the opportunity to do so again.' 

Tannie Poppie | House and Leisure

Eroica have already paid for Poppie's plane ticket and will host her during the three-day event in Gaiole, which kicks off on 6 October 2019.

In order to make Poppie's Italy experience unforgettable, Engelbrecht is calling on the public to help raise funds and has set up a back-a-buddy fund to allow for donations. He says: 'Having known Poppie for six years I know that this is a dream come true for her, and this experience will change her life forever. Please be part of it!'

'We have this one opportunity to show her Venice, Rome, and some of the wonderful things Italy has to offer, and it would be sad to miss out on something simply because we can't afford it. We want to give Poppie the best, richest possible experience, and every little bit will help to make this a life-changing trip for her. [And i]f you pass there on the N1, please be sure to stop and buy a 'roosterbrood' or three she would love to meet you!' adds Engelbrecht. 

Tannie Poppie | House and Leisure

Currently, the back-a-buddy fund has exceeded both Poppie's and Engelbrecht's expectations, reaching well over their required funding. Less than a week before they head off aborad, they have raised a whopping R101465.22.

'We would like to thank you on behalf of Poppie for the overwhelming support that has been shown to her trip, but more importantly for the interest that you have all had in wanting to see this amazing woman’s story being told,' says Engelbrecht.

Donations will remain open until Monday 23 September 2019; find out more via the website. 

Engelbrecht has also decided to create a documentary focusing on the life of Tannie Poppie, which will be titled, 'A Diamond in the Sand'. 

With South Africa celebrating heritage month in September, the story of Tannie Poppie and the power of local unity and our nation's food has touched our hearts.  

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