Jan and Anita at ‘t Winkeltje, 2019. Source Daily Telegraph

The Dutch Shop, ‘t Winkeltje in ‘Holland House’ was founded by Jan and Anita Altena in Smithfield in 1985. Holland House at first it sold only imported Dutch furniture, but soon expanded to a supermarket (‘t Winkeltje), stocking the herring, cheese and liquorice that is signature Dutch fare. Inside, the warehouse building has been transformed. There’s a tiled floor, a low ceiling crossed with wooden beams, and wood-panelled walls, against which delft tiles and ceramic figurines are displayed. Under the wooden clogs and orange bunting that hang from the ceiling are aisles stocking sweets, packets of chocolate sprinkles, jars of pickles, containers of chocolate milk, boxes of pancake mix: an entire pantry of Dutch groceries.

Behind the shop is the cafe, a room of dark wood and low, golden light imitating a Dutch café from that period. Fringed lampshades hang down over the tables, which have thick, woven coverings and vases of pink artificial tulips decorating them. Around the edges of the room, in cabinets and on shelves, are clusters of objects, pennants from the NSW Holland festival, coffee tins, wooden skates, copper pots, Dutch joke books, more tiles, more clogs.

On the other side of the cafe the shop continues, with racks of Dutch CDs and LPs, then souvenirs and kitchenware, then the oak furniture showroom that started it all. There are loungeroom scenes set up, chairs and tables and cabinets with trinkets and books in them.

For many years until 2019 ‘t Winkeltje also hosted the Dutch Cultural Centre’s artefacts, library and archives. The DACC has since moved to the Anel Taman Village in Chester Hill, Sydney.

See also:


SBS article

Mirror Sydney