Dutch Bakery building up for sale, but owners vow to remain open

Dutch Bakery building up for sale, but owners vow to remain open
CHEK
The Dutch Bakery & Diner is pictured in Victoria on June 12, 2024.

A longstanding Victoria business says it plans to remain open, even if the building it operates out of hits the market.

Owners of the Dutch Bakery & Diner in downtown Victoria have decided to sell their building, though operators are hoping whoever scoops up the property will want to keep the business located there as well.

The 69-year-old business has been located at 718 Fort St. since 1955, offering delicious sweets and an old-school diner experience to generations of locals and tourists.

Dutch Bakery owner Michele Bryne says she and her two business partners, Brook and Jack Schaddelee, had discussed selling the two-storey building in the core of downtown Victoria for the past three years and finally decided to move forward this year.

The building was listed on Monday.

Bryne says the news was tough to share with the bakery’s 19 employees, some of whom have been there for decades.

“Some staff have been with us for 40 years, it’s very important to us,” she said. “They are the reason we are here.”

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Dutch Bakery owner Michele Bryne (centre) is pictured behind the counter of the bakery on June 12, 2024. (CHEK News)

Bryne stresses that the longstanding Victoria business will not close regardless of what happens. If the new owners of the building decide not to keep the bakery and diner as tenants, the bakery will relocate.

“We need to make sure it works for us and for the business,” she said.

Currently, the second floor of the building is used for a staff washroom and storage. The property itself is already zoned to go up to four storeys tall, says Byrne.

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Sweets are packed up at the Dutch Bakery & Diner. (CHEK News)

A rich history and ‘delectable dynasty’

The Schaddelee family first opened the Dutch Bakery in 1955, after coming to Victoria from the Netherlands.

Parents Kees Schaddelee Sr. and Mable initially rented the coffee shop alongside their two oldest sons, before their two younger sons joined the family business as well, after finishing school.

It was the start of the what the business calls their “delectable dynasty.”

Later, the wives of the four sons also started working at the bakery, and eventually Kees and Mable’s eight grandchildren worked at the family business as they grew up and navigated their school years.

Kees retired at the age of 72, after working as a baker for more than 60 years.

He could be seen at the shop sipping coffee and enjoying croquettes until his 97th year, when he died in February 2007, according to the Dutch Bakery website.

“In 2013, three cousins, Jack Schaddelee, Michele Byrne and Brook Schaddelee officially took over the operations of the business and continue with the family values instilled by the previous generations,” reads the website.

With files from CHEK’s Mary Griffin

The Dutch Bakery & Diner (formerly called The Dutch Bakery & Coffee Shop) is pictured in 1962. (Victoria Archives)

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