It’s a country get-away like no other – a hall, near a lake, that offers plenty of down-home hospitality, fine catered meals and fresh baked goods – all in one location. Add plenty of green space for outdoor activities, and what have you got? One very special place operated by two very special people.
With a hall to rent and a bakery to run, Harold and Evelyn Dickhout are two extremely ambitious seniors who are too busy to be thinking about retiring any time soon. This charming elderly couple know all about hard work combined with enthusiasm and passion as they have poured their hearts into the operation of HandEe Meadows Hall and Gramma Bear’s Bakery.
Located south of Wizard Lake on their 15 acre property, the Dickhouts recently hosted a gathering at their hall of customers and vendors of the Olde Strathcona Farmers Market, and a few neighbourhood friends and some family. Serving up a delicious meal of chilli and fresh baked buns, topped off with scrumptious buttertarts and soft ice cream for dessert, all those who attended the afternoon social on June 24th were treated to not only some delicious food but the heartfelt hospitality of their hosts.
Throughout the afternoon Evelyn gave tours of the bakery, the place where she spends her days preparing for the Farmers Market. The bakery has large mixers, a walk in cooler and freezer, and a super-sized oven which can bake up to 100 loaves of bread at once. Gramma Bear’s Bakery has been a vendor of the Strathcona Market now for 25 years, where not only Evelyn’s signature fresh buns and breads are sought after by their regular customers, but her famous cookies and pies are in high demand too. With 120 vendors selling their wares every Saturday in Olde Strathcona, located just off Whyte Avenue in Edmonton, this Farmers Market is one of the largest around.
Harold was also on the go, showing others around the hall site, explaining what is available for family or group events. The hall capacity is 80 persons, and a garden tent is available now too, which can also accommodate 80 people. In addition, the site also includes a covered outdoor patio with a barbeque, a full kitchen, games room and the newly added gazebo with a deep roasting pit. He was pleased also to showcase their new soft ice cream machine in the kitchen, and encouraged everyone to eat lots of the tasty ice cream.
The event carried on into late afternoon. “We had a good turnout today with about 120 people attending”, Evelyn said. “We were prepared for over 200, but some of the vendors were unable to make it. All in all it was a great afternoon, despite the rain,” she added.
By keeping active and maintaining their enthusiasm, the Dickhouts truly are an inspiration to all. Even though they both appear to be in good health and sustain high energy while continuing to pursue their ambitions, they do have help with the day to day operations of the bakery, and now the hall. Barb Begin is in charge of the catering at the hall and the facility bookings. Since joining the Dickhouts business last fall, Barb comes to HandEe Meadows from Stony Plain, with an extensive background in the restaurant and catering business.
The hall is a welcome addition to the lake community. Folks renting the facility can enjoy down-home cooking at its finest offered by HandEe Meadows Catering, along with fresh baked buns and breads, as well as many yummy dessert items from Gramma Bear’s Bakery.
For directions to the hall and for booking information, call Barb at 780-719-7274 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or check their new website at email@example.com