Xp Bonaire Island life Feature Story
Arjen van de Leeuw is the baker and co-owner of Real Dutch Bakery, a local artisan bakery, baking bread from scratch using original Dutch bread baking traditions.
Arjen is a passionate baker with broad knowledge about men’s favorite food - bread. He has been working in the profession since 2002, and has received several certificates in pastry and bread baking in the Netherlands. A friend came to Bonaire for a job and Arjen joined him during his vacation. The next year he returned and looked for work opportunities. In 2009, he was able to start working at the biggest supermarket in town, Cultimara, with its big bakery department.
In 2011, when Cultimara was closing its doors, Arjen and his partner, Patrick, saw an opportunity to start their own business and mainly focus on the delivery of fresh bread to the hospitality industry, a concept brand new on the island.
Out of work and with no salary, the two had to hurry setting up the business and start earning money as soon as possible. Luckily they could take over a former bakery permit and property. After cleaning out the whole space and setting up new machines freshly delivered from the Netherlands, they opened their doors at the beginning of March, 2012. Patrick returned to the Netherlands and still works in the baking profession. He is still a partner on Bonaire and takes over the business when Arjen leaves for vacations.
To really bake artisan bread from scratch, Arjen has a strange work schedule. Getting up around 7 pm, he starts working at 8 pm to have freshly baked bread ready for the first delivery as early as 5:30 am. The shop opens daily, Monday through Saturday, from 6 am – noon. Arjen and his wife both work at the bakery. With 4 kids, they have a busy schedule that they survive only through their love of the profession and not looking at it as work, but as part of the life they enjoy. When Arjen is lucky, he can go to sleep around 1 pm to wake up again at 7pm.
Real Dutch Bakery
Besides its regular bread assortment, the Real Dutch Bakery is well known for its special breads and taking dietary requirements into account, such as low carbohydrate bread, gluten-free, spelt bread without additives, sourdough bread, whole-grain bread, low sodium, lactose-free bread and you can discuss with Arjen any other requirements or demands.
Real Dutch Bakery has the most delicious croissants and a whole range of bake-off breads that you can perfectly store in the freezer and bake-off the moment you need it.
Many restaurants have their own individual recipes, size and shape for the breads they order. Arjen will discuss your request and can give you samples before making the final choice on your bread. Individual customers and businesses can order by email or WhatsApp.
The holidays are just around the corner and like every year, the Real Dutch Bakery is preparing our favorite traditional holiday delicacies.
Around 6th of December, the Christmas stolen, prepared with almond paste, raisins, hazelnuts and real butter, will be available at the bakery and at Bondigro Supermarket.
Around the 27th of December, the Real Dutch Bakery will set up at Hillside to deep fry the Dutch Oliebollen (fried donut) for New Year’s Eve. You can buy them at the Bakery and at Bondigro as well. This year you will not only have apple turn overs and oliebollen, but for the first time, apple beignets. To ensure your favorites, place you order ahead of time.
We will update you online with more details closer to the event.
16 Kaya Cacique
WhatsApp +599 701 8268