Walking into the Dutch Bakery on Fort Street is a little like stepping into Victoria’s past. But don’t be surprised to see some millennials hanging out at the lunch counter along with long-time regulars.
“We’re starting to attract some of the younger generation who are working and living in town and who think that we’re this trendy retro diner,” says co-owner Michele Byrne, with a laugh. “But we’re just kind of this way out of longevity.” Kees Schaddelee, who moved to Victoria from the Netherlands, founded the business in 1956. It is now run by three cousins — Jack and Brook Schaddelee and Michele — who are Kees’s grandchildren. Michele is front-end manager and bookkeeper, Jack is head baker and Brook is the chocolatier.
Other than a few tweaks to the recipes to account for differences in flour and butter, the bakery still follows all of Kees’s original recipes. Vanilla slices, dollar rolls and the mocha tarts have always been the most popular pastries. The diner serves traditional comfort food for both breakfast and lunch, with some regulars stopping by twice a day.
“We do everything by the recipes my grandfather used back in the 50s, and that’s what people like,” says Jack. “It’s good products and good service — those are the two key ingredients.”
The Dutch Bakery is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday to pick up favourite baked treats, and the Grill is open for burgers to go from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For further information, visit the Dutch Bakery. Call 250-385-1012.
This article is from the April/May 2020 issue of Douglas.