COLUMBIANA- Relying on a tradition rich in family and religion, the Dutch Village is marking anniversaries this month at both the Inn and Cupboard.
The Inn marked 10 years this past Thursday and the Cupboard will celebrate 20 years on Wednesday. Das Dutch Haus will reach 30 years in February.
To mark the occasion, customers at the Cupboard will receive a cloth shopping bag on Wednesday through the weekend, while supplies last.
The Dutch Village is marking anniversaries this month at both the Inn (10 years) and Cupboard (20 years). Shown above are employees at the Cupboard, from left, Bonnie Rickman, Denise Niemi, Bev Van Pelt and Ashley Niemi. (Salem News photo by Kevin Howell)
"It's exciting to be in business for so long," said manager Grace Witmer-Styer, noting that the businesses' family atmosphere has helped make the Dutch Village a staple in the community.
Das Dutch Haus opened in February 1982, a project by Ralph Witmer and Raymond Horst aimed at celebrating the family's Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, Witmer-Styer said.
The current businesses are owned by the families of the two men, 12 members in total, a testament to the hard work evident in the farming families' Mennonite faith. The complex is enhanced by outside shops that correlate with the families' theme, making the Dutch Village a one-stop shopping destination.
"I hope people feel it's a safe place to come," Witmer-Styer said, noting that she places a premium on good, family values, and not only working as a family, but hiring families as employees.
"I think we've been able to stick around because we hire local and try to make it a safe family place," she explained. "I think we are able to express that philosophy to our employees and patrons."
Despite the economic downturn that has hurt so many small businesses, including the Dutch Village, slow expansion has helped to solidify the business's footing in the community.
Starting small with just a handful of family members at the restaurant, the Dutch Village complex now employs over 300 employees.
Each business continues to grow, offering a variety of services and shops that help exemplify a believe in family.
"We look to do things that families need," Witmer-Styer said.
The Dutch Inn has added full service event planning, including lodging, catering, flowers and other accessories to make every party special, and Witmer-Styer recently opened a complimentary flower business, the Dutch Tulip, where the pet shop used to be located.
"When we see an opportunity and see that it will work, we pursue it," she said.
Visitors to the Cupboard can also find that nostalgic family appeal in old fashioned treats from generations past such as assorted licorice pieces and a variety of fresh deli meats and cheeses sliced to order. The store also keeps up with the times with new popular items such as dried vegetable chips and offers a wide variety of bulk chocolates, cake mixes and flours, and many items for special diet needs.
Each business at the complex is open family friendly hours, too- Das Dutch Haus is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; the Cupboard is open from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except Wednesday when it closes at 6 p.m.; and the Tulip is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. All shops are closed on Sundays, except the Inn which is open all the time.
Kevin Howell can be reached at email@example.com