Have you shopped at our Boschendal online store yet? If not, you are in for an amazing treat! If so, we hope you enjoyed the incredible experience of receiving a parcel of farm-to-fork fare straight to your door.
One of the reasons why our online farm shop is so popular with our patrons is the fact everything runs so smoothly. This comes down to the talents and determination of one very special person – our e-commerce coordinator, Cherné Lombaard.
Cherné has been a part of the Boschendal team since 2018, and started out as senior reservations agent in charge of guest queries and -support, customer service, payments and more. This suited her go-getter attitude and allowed her to make good use of the skill set she had developed working in hospitality prior to applying at Boschendal.
“I worked in hospitality for a long time, both locally and abroad. This included a fantastically fun three-year stint in America, during which I worked at country clubs. It was an incredible experience; I learned so much about different cultures, and how to get along with people from around the globe. Today, I still have friends who live in England, Brazil, Spain, and further afield,” says Cherné.
Boschendal decided to take the farm store into the online space in May 2021, and Cherné saw this as an opportunity to challenge herself by moving out of her comfort zone.
“When the e-commerce job became available, I was very comfortable in my reservations position – a little too comfortable, in fact. I believe that growth happens outside of your comfort zone, and decided to interview for the job. When I got the position I was very happy, but it was quite hard to leave my old team; we were like family.
“The great thing about working at Boschendal was that there were no bad vibes about making moves within the business. My manager supported me all the way,” she explains.
These days, Cherné has a blast ensuring that Boschendal’s online customers enjoy access to an amazing array of products, and receive seamless end-to-end service, from the moment they open the site, until they receive their goods at their door.
“The store is doing exceptionally well, and if our returning customer rates are anything to go by, we are definitely hitting the mark in terms of our offering and service,” she enthuses.
“Every now and again I like to take a drive and do our deliveries in person. This adds a little personal touch that our customer enjoy. It was especially welcome during the stricter levels of lockdown; it allowed them to put a face to the name of the person on the other side of the screen, and I enjoyed it just as much.”
Of all the products available on the shop, Cherné personally loves the ready-made meals, which makes dinnertime a breeze on those days that you don’t have time or energy to whip something up when you get home from work.
“All our frozen meals are made from scratch right here on the farm, using farm-fresh ingredients of excellent quality. I personally love the butter chicken for a mid-week meal, it’s so quick, easy and affordable,” she says.
This is high praise from this happily married wife and mother of two, who lives in Paarl and makes the commute to Boschendal every day. They are a very tight-knit family who likes to go for walks and get out and about over the weekend, seeking out places where the kids can run around and blow off some steam.
“When I work, I work, and when I’m at home, it’s all about my family. Working at Boschendal has been a great blessing for me in this regard, especially during those first panic-stricken months of the initial lockdown in 2020.
“We really felt that management had our back during COVID. The number one concern for everyone was what would happen next – will I be able to work, will I be paid? Everyone who worked at Boschendal was carried through with full salaries, even the waiters were paid tip money to keep up with life. Lots of other people I know lost their jobs or their companies could not afford them. So I felt very safe,” says Cherné.
We are very proud of the amazing job Cherné has done managing the e-commerce side of our farm shop to date, and we cannot wait to see how she grows in this position. It is a testament to her internal drive and tenacity that she was up for this challenge, and we commend her passion and willingness to learn.
Keep an eye on the Boschendal Diaries in weeks and months to come for more introductions to the great people who help us to make our Cape Winelands destinations such a fantastic place to visit and experience. We look forward to sharing more of their stories right here.