Our History

Bakery 1940s downtown GoshenIn 1912 when the baker at the University of Notre Dame, Brother Willibrord, wrote to his hometown of Zevenaar in the Netherlands asking if anyone wanted to come to America and help him in the bakery at Notre Dame, Augustinus Cornelius Marie Eykholt ("August"), at age 17 and not speaking a word of English, answered that call and came to the United States. Hendrikus Johannes Joseph Eykholt ("Harry") came to the United States in 1914 at age 26. He, like his brother August, went to work in the bakery at Notre Dame.

Harry Eykholt and daughter Harriett little Dutch Maid

August Eykholt, and his father-in-law, Fred Oberndorfer started Purity Bakery in 1924. Purity Bakery later became Dutch Maid Bakery. Harry worked at purity bakery with August. In 1935 he bought out August's share. Harry then sold the bakery in about 1939, moved out of state, came back and bought back the bakery in 1945. 

August and Lulu Oberndorfer Eykholt circa 1920s

It was when he bought it back that he changed the name to Dutch Maid Bakery in honor of his daughter, Harriett - who would have been around 25 years old at the time. Harry's first wife, Harriett's mother, died when Harriett was only 2 years old. Harry took Harriett back to the Netherlands. He was very distraught over his wife's death and overwhelmed with having to raise Harriett by himself. It is said that Harry had intentions of asking his sisters to raise Harriett in the Netherlands. However, when it came time to leave, he couldn't leave Harriett and brought her back to America.

Several other families have owned Dutch Maid Bakery over the years including William Rasmussen, Don & Norm Kramer, Marv Yoder, Kevin & Lisa Spry, and Marilee & Jerry Nixon.  Lyle & Gretchen Miller have been the owners since 2017.