A loyal shopper's request for specialty food items from her native country has sparked an interesting partnership.
Coby Vanderstoel, a retired nurse, is now a shopkeeper selling authentic Dutch foods, spices and gift items in Sunnyside.
"She was always asking me to carry more Dutch food items," explained Jaime Aguayo, manager of The Valley's Market in Sunnyside.
"I kept telling her to help me open a shop," he said.
"I thought he was joking," smiled the energetic Vanderstoel.
Joking aside, Friday, March 19, will mark the launching of the Dutch Depot, a partnership between Aguayo and Vanderstoel. The shop will be located inside The Valley's Market on Yakima Valley Highway, and will carry a sampling of the favorite foods of Dutchmen, Vanderstoel said.
"But we can order whatever the people want," she said.
Vanderstoel, who came to the United States in 1962 from Holland, said her new venture will carry many items viewed as special treats by members of the local Dutch community.
Dutch licorice, mints, pastries, soup mixes and even spices from Indonesia, a former Dutch colony, which until now were only available by traveling to Seattle or British Columbia, will be available right here, she said.
Vanderstoel said several Sunnyside stores have in the past carried some Dutch foods. "But only on one or two shelves. We are making it easier for shoppers to find us in this little shop," she explained.
Vanderstoel has made plans to serve samples of Dutch pastries during her opening, which will be held all day Friday.
"We will also have Dutch cheeses for sampling," she added.
"Coby's venture will be a great addition to our store," said Aguayo.
"We are providing one more reason for customers to shop at home," he added.