A Chat with the Cookie Expert at the Dutch Bakery

For three generations the Schaddelee family has been making traditional pastries and chocolates here in Victoria at the Dutch Bakery and Coffee Shop (718 Fort St). Cousins Jack, Brook, and Michelle had the business handed down to them from their grandfather, who arrived here from Holland in the 1950s in search of greater opportunities than available in his home village. As the recipes were made then, so they are made now, sticking to formulae maintained, proven, and perfected through time.

I sat down during a lunch break to talk with Jack Schaddelee about cookies and the history of the Dutch Bakery. He is undoubtedly the cookie expert at the Dutch Bakery. The building, he tells me, even the upper offices where we are sitting, are filled with memories for him. Growing up, he learned the now famous recipes while at the knee of his grandfather. The Dutch Bakery maintains the same look and feel since its fruition in in the 1950s: an open concept space combining a traditional diner with bakery displays in front. Although there is always a need to keep things in good condition, the owners like to maintain the original 1950s décor. Customers find comfort in the atmosphere as much as they do in the food.


We talked at length about butter and butter making, too. The Dutch Bakery makes many of its cookies with butter as opposed to vegetable shortening, simply because butter is the better and more flavourful alternative. One taste of the Dutch shortbread cookie will convince you of the validity of this claim. The Dutch shortbread, a slightly moister type than its Scottish cousin, is bitten from the cookie with a pleasant crumb filled snap, and melts delectably on the tongue.


Another favourite of mine is the windmill shaped Speculaas. Once a cookie exclusive to the Christmas season, the Speculaas can now be enjoyed at any time of year. The slightly spicy arrangement of ingredients makes for a new plateau available to people already dangerously addicted to gingerbread. To be honest, I don’t believe there is any cookie at the bakery that I haven’t enjoyed. Holland is a place where the mastery and variety of cookies is on par with the French mastery of cheese, and the Dutch Bakery is not exception to this rule.

dutch-bakery-frontI ask, too, how the anti-gluten fad affects business, a topic that always interests me when visiting bakeries. Because gluten free flour is usually three times as expensive and three times less effective for any sort of proper baking, incorporating a gluten-free menu can be a challenge. Despite this, The Dutch Bakery does offer some gluten free products, and they are always trying to mix a few new inventions in among the elder statesmen of their collection. In my opinion, however, if you want to eat a proper cookie then you should stop worrying about gluten and open yourself up to a sweet and harmless bite of something the next time you turn the corner onto Fort St. If you, inexplicably, do not want cookies, you can also sit in the delightful diner at the back and have a lunch or coffee while taking in the fabulous interior.

The Dutch Bakery

718 Fort St, Victoria, BC

Phone: (250) 385-1012

Written By:

Born and raised in the mysterious East (by which I mean Ontario and Quebec, not Asia), Adam migrated out to British Columbia in search of adventure and fortune. He had been at different times a scholar, a musician, a poet and a ...

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