The Thandi community is involved in almost all stages of the winemaking process (from working in the vineyards to managing the farm and marketing the wines), as the brand aims to uplift previously disadvantaged people.
Here's an opportunity to 'meet' some members of the Thandi team:
General manager: Vernon Henn
Vernon, who was appointed as General Manager of Thandi Wines in 2007, says his job enables him the privilege to plough back into the community and contribute towards creating wealth for the Thandi shareholders, many who are farm workers.
As someone who is eager to embrace change, Vernon is excited about the endless possibilities in store for Thandi Wines. “Although we are able to empower people through the wine sales, Thandi is firstly about quality. We want consumers to repeatedly purchase our product. It may be a bit arrogant to say this, but my aim is to make Thandi one of the biggest, strongest empowerment brands in the wine industry,” says Vernon passionately.
Vernon stems from a humble background and although there wasn’t money for tertiary studies, he managed to continually climb the career ladder as a result of eager enthusiasm, hard work and dedication. What makes him even more admirable is the fact that he managed to transform Thandi into a thriving stand-alone business while juggling part-time studies and family life.
Being a people’s person with a transparent “what-you-see is what-you-get” personality and an utterly infectious laugh, Vernon is the ideal person to steer Thandi Wines from strength to strength.
Office assistant: Edwina Mars
For six years after matriculating, Edwina could be found hard at work at the Thandi farm kitchen in Elgin, offering customers a delicious home-cooked meal coupled with a shy smile.
Thereafter, she took the opportunity to spread her wings and worked in the hustle and bustle otherwise known as London, for six months to gain some invaluable life experience. Not deterred by the grey UK skies, Edwina in fact fell in the love with the country and says that if money were no object, she’d spend more time traipsing around the world as the travelling bug has bitten.
Back on home ground, Edwina joined Thandi Wines as Vernon’s right-hand man (or rather, lady, in this instance), and ensures that the Thandi office runs as efficiently and effectively as the proverbial well-oiled machine. She thoroughly executes her task according to her favourite quotation by Christy Borgeld: “To succeed, you need to take that gut feeling in what you believe and act on it with all of your heart.”
Apart from her job, Edwina counts the Twilight Eclipse movie, a good book and a seafood platter among her passions.
Thandi Wines Shareholding