Yiayia, the Greek word for Granny.
Our Yiayia, Elli Parolis, is the inspiration behind the idea of YIAYIA’s TABLE. She arrived in South Africa from the island of Lesvos in Greece in 1937 as a mail order bride to marry Jimmy Parolis, an immigrant from Lesvos, who had established himself in Cape Town a decade earlier and was ready to marry a local girl from his village, Plomari.
After family discussions and agreement, Elli boarded a ship destined for Cape Town where she met and married Jimmy and started her life with him in Mowbray growing their businesses and bringing up their 3 children.
They owned and ran a Tea Room / supermarket and then butchery, in the very space our store is situated today.
Yiayia Elli loved her family fiercely and showed her selfless devotion to them by her strong presence and her passion to cook and feed them. This passion extended to all their friends, relatives, staff and the wider community.
She lived to the blessed age of 96. Right up until her final days she continued to feed her family (including 5 grand-children and 7 great grand-children) insisting they eat every time they popped in to visit, sitting around her yellow kitchen table sharing good wholesome food and loving conversations.
It is in this spirit that YIAYIA’s TABLE was established - to continue her legacy: the traditions, the passion, the secrets and the recipes, all made with love, passed down from our Yiayia to you.