Lewis County spotlight: A Dutch woman known for her hospitality started a coffee business at 60

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By Julie McDonald / For the Chronicle

Editor’s note: This is the second part of a two part story. Read the first episode here.

Grace Klijnsma was 25 when she married Pieter “Peter” Andree on July 31, 1953 in Heerenveen in a palace-like mansion from 1648 surrounded by a moat known as Crackstate. After the end of World War II, the Dutch government encouraged residents of the densely populated nation to emigrate, so Grace and Peter were among the 500,000 people who left the country. Peter wanted to move to Australia, but Grace had maternal aunts and uncles in California who could sponsor them.

Grace’s first child, Chris, born at home in Holland and named after her grandfather, was about a year old when they sailed to the United States in 1957. Her parents, who encouraged them to leave because it was safer, visited them in 1965, and Grace and her family returned to the Netherlands at least once. Grace’s sister, who is seven years younger, still lives in Heerenveen.

Peter and Grace settled near Anaheim, California, where Peter milked cows for five years. Then, in the early 1960s, they purchased a 110-acre dairy farm on Puget Island in Wahkiakum County, where they lived for 17 years and milked between 70 and 150 head of cattle. In other words, her husband did.

“I never could,” she said. “I couldn’t get a single drop from a cow. It’s just not my thing.

Their second son, Willem, and daughter Atje, known as Audrey, were born in California, while the youngest, Margaret, was born in Longview.

Then, in the late 1970s, while the girls were still in school, the family moved north to a 160-acre farm in the Hanaford Valley outside of Centralia. They grew trees and owned cattle and horses.

Although as a child she went to the Christian Reformed Church, the family attended a Presbyterian church in Centralia. Grace joined the Centralia-Chehalis Christian Women’s Club, where she met another Dutch immigrant, Audrey Rademaker of Chehalis, while raising money for missionaries. She also met June Gorter, Fund’s mother. They often got together to play cards and other games.

As a farmer’s wife, Grace cooked, cooked, grew a garden, canned produce and raised the children. She taught her offspring to sew, needle, crochet, cross stitch. She loved to read and loved to shop. “Oh, I dragged my girls to every store,” she said.

She became known for her caring hospitality, including her delicious Lemon Butter Cake, a recipe she passed down to her children and grandchildren.

But as the daughter of a grocer, she had long wanted to run her own business.

The opportunity arose after his son, Chris Andree, began building the Centralia Factory Outlet Center, according to a 1991 Chronicle article by George H. Blomdahl. She said to him, “Chris, you should have a coffee here.”

The spaces had already been rented, but when he built an addition on Haviland Street, he visited his mother for her birthday. “Happy birthday, mom,” he told her. “I have a surprise for you. You can have your own cafe.

In 1989, at the age of 60, she opened Andree Ltd., or Andree’s Coffee Haus, with four employees. Her shop offered coffee, baked goods, imported Delft Blue gifts and imported cheeses, which she learned about while working in Holland outside the city. His favorite is gouda. She also loves Friesen cheese.

The store’s popularity proved problematic as the business outgrew its location within a year. When an ice cream business across the street moved, his son remodeled and expanded that location for his business, which featured a windmill.

By the second year, she was employing a dozen people, including a store manager and a cook, and won “Best Iced Coffee of 1991” for her creation of “The Scudbuster”, a Desert Strom concoction of espresso coffee. gourmet, creme de cacao (torani), vanilla, and half and half topped with whipped cream, a red straw and flag, and blue and red sugar crystals. His prize from the coffee wholesalers sponsoring the competition was 100 pounds of coffee.

She often traveled across Canada and the United States in search of the best coffees and gifts for her boutique, which she ran for 18 years. At 78, she said, she was tired.

While her business prospered, her marriage did not. She and Peter officially divorced in July 1997, and he died at his Centralia home on February 20, 2018. He was 90.

A second chance at romance came at the age of 70 after her former boyfriend spent eight years finding her after the death of his wife. “And he found me,” she said. “He was very happy to see me and fly to me.”

They dated a little, even though he lived in Canada. She visited him and they sailed on Lake Ontario. Before their love could blossom, he died.

“It wasn’t in the cards,” she said.

Although she loved her sweets, she only smoked cigarettes once in a while and drank alcohol once, while on a trip to Brea Canyon in Southern California. She was thirsty and her husband brought her a large glass of wine. She drank it all.

“I never had a glass of wine again,” she said. “I was drunk as a whore. I was laughing all the time. I never laughed so much in my life. I never drank again. I thought, I can’t stand this.

She used to train at Thorbeckes. She loved swimming, which she learned to do in the Netherlands. She drove until she was 80.

So what’s the secret to its longevity?

“You have to shut up,” she said. “You must listen.”

His favorite Dutch dish is a good roast beef, Brussels sprouts and spinach. She described how she cooked the roast to moist, tender perfection.

As for advice for her five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, she said, “Love the Lord. Obey your parents, not that I did this.

She described her parents as kind, although she sometimes rebelled, and her faith in God as “very great”. When death comes, she knows where she will go. “That’s for sure.”

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Julie McDonald, personal historian of Toledo, can be contacted at [email protected]

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