The Nick & Liisa Frei Family.

Nick and Liisa Frei, The Dutchman's Story

 

In 1986, as we were preparing to welcome our third child to our family, we began building Dutchman’s Market, a gas station/convenience store in the historic little town of Santa Clara, Utah. Nick’s roots run deep in the red sands of Southern Utah, as his ancestors were some of the original pioneers to settle Santa Clara. Nick grew up cattle ranching with his father and the other cowboys in the Santa Clara Cattle Company. He loved working along side the older cowboys and learned there are few things that can’t be fixed with duct tape and baling wire. He would fall asleep in the old Dutchman’s Ranch bunk house, listening to the cowboys tell their tall tales and learning to sleep through the sounds of eight men snoring, as it echoed through the cabin. He watched as his dad would laugh and joke and seem to get happier the harder the job was, making backbreaking work seem to be desirable, instead of dreaded.  Spending long days on a saddle in beautiful, rugged country was Nick’s happy place.  

 

We met in 1980 while attending college in St. George, Utah. We married in 1981 and moved to Ogden, Utah, Liisa’s hometown.  Nick received an accounting degree from WSU and worked in accounting for a couple of years. Though our love for the people and mountains of Ogden is deep, we heard the call of the desert and headed back south, once again to ranch with Nick’s father. After a couple of lean years, it became apparent that we would need an additional source of income to support our growing family. Out of that need, the idea to create a little market was born. We dreamed of a place that would be a gathering spot for the community. Somewhere you could grab a bite to eat and have a freshly baked cookie for dessert. 

 

While Liisa worked on convincing the bank that, of course, they should lend lots of money to a young couple, who were still in their early 20’s, had two kids with one on the way, and no business experience whatsoever.  Nick began to build the store, drawing on his skills learned on the ranch and while working for his uncle as a teenager. He did every single thing he could possibly do by himself, including building the tables and booths for the dining room, enlisting help from his buddies who were always ready to lend a hand. Liisa was in charge of the decorating. She painted and stenciled walls and wallpapered the dining room (these things were all the rage in the 80’s), all the while her two littles ran wild through the empty store. 

 

Now as we reflect back over 34 years, we see that this little business has been our family’s classroom and the lessons we continue to learn along the way have been invaluable. Providing the opportunity for our six children to grow up stocking shelves and scooping cookies; learning that having fun, while working hard, can help you ride the ups and downs of running a small business. Our grandchildren are happy to be our official product testers, whether it’s a cookie from the bakery or the latest creation from Maileg. They continue to be our motivation to keep going. Even after a devastating flood or a world wide pandemic, we have learned  how to roll with the punches and shift with the times.  In a world filled with big box stores and a franchise on every corner, you will still find Dutchman’s Market standing in the beautiful little town called Santa Clara.  

 

Where else can you fill up your tank, grab a drink and handmade pizza, while picking out the perfect gift from our boutique?  Of course you don't want to leave without picking up one, or better yet a dozen of our famous cookies made fresh in our bakery. 

Come visit us today at:

2300 Santa Clara Dr, Santa Clara, UT 84765

Katie Madsen and her daughter, Jenna.

Katie Madsen's Story

Hi! My name is Katie Malan Madsen and I am the Manager and the buyer of Dutchman's Market. Alongside Liisa, we have created and curated the boutique and this website. (Thanks so much for checking us out!)

I was born in Ogden, Utah, but was raised in San Diego from the time I was six months old. The beach has always been, and will always be my happy place. At 19 I moved back to Utah when I was offered a job with Delta Airlines, where I met my ex-husband. During our marriage, we lived in (Ogden) Utah, Georgia, back to (Ogden) Utah, California, Wisconsin, and back again to (St. George) Utah. We have traveled to countless countries, and from coast to coast in the US. And most importantly, we adopted our sweet Jenna, as an infant after a decade of infertility treatments. She was the perfect addition and I am always grateful for her, her independence, her talents, intelligence, and spunky ways. 

After leaving Delta Airlines, I got a job in the IT industry where I was trained as a purchaser, and then a bookkeeper. I applied those skills at an accounting firm in Los Angeles as a celebrity business manager and countless other positions as we moved from state to state.

 

In 2008, when we moved back to Utah, Casey's brother recommended we contact his dear friend, Liisa Frei to help us purchase a house, and I ended up going to work for her and her real estate partner as their assistant. I started bookkeeping for Dutchman's a few years later when we relocated to Santa Clara. In May 2018, I took over as Manager. It's been such a fun way to get to know our community members better and we love living in Santa Clara City. 

In addition to my work at Dutchman's, I also own a company designing quilt patterns called  Katie Malan Designs . I have always crafted, and I love having this side gig to enjoy being able to use my creativity. 

The Frei family has taken my little family under their wing, and I can honestly say Nick and Liisa are two of the best people I know. They are kind and generous and I will forever be grateful for friendship. 

Liisa and I have put our hearts, souls, and many hours into our boutique, so thank you for your support of our small business! It's appreciated more than I'll ever be able to express.  

Thank you for youR support, 

Liisa and katie

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