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History of The Cheesemaker’s Inn

steenhoek-cheesemakers-inn-pella-iowaBuilt around 1918, this craftsman style farmhouse was originally the heart of a 330-acre farm on the southwest edge of Pella owned by the Vander Linden family.  Following the Great Depression, the farmstead was purchased by Rich & Regina Steenhoek as they started their family of four children.

Kathy (Steenhoek) Bandstra, one of four Steenhoek siblings, was raised in this home and returned after marriage to raise her own family here.  Together with their four children, Ron and Kathy Bandstra milked Holstein cows, farmed acres of grain and hay fields, shared the joys and sorrows of life, gathered for hearty meals, and prayed together.

Unfortunately, the Farm Crisis of the 1980s forced the family farm to dissolve, and compounded by the encroachment of the City of Pella and developers, the farm historic-farmstead-cheesemakers-inn-pella-iowawas parceled off to become the municipal airport, soccer fields, parts of the Bos Landen Golf Course community and several residential homes.

The original dairy barn seen in this aerial photo is now a separate residential property adjacent to the inn and a guest parking lot replaces the granary structures shown between them.

In 2003, after their children were grown, Ron and Kathy realized their dream home by elaborately renovating their farmhouse as de Boederij Bed and Breakfast—”the Home Place” in Dutch.  Sadly, however, Kathy passed away shortly thereafter.  Friends and family members continued to operate the bed and breakfast, and Ron continued to live in his family home. 

In 2007, Ron’s sons, Jason and Mike, revived the family dairy farming tradition by establishing a new dairy operation on Jason’s farm near Leighton.  As innovative entrepreneurs, their families successfully combined their family’s Dutch heritage and their Holstein dairy tradition to produce a new and authentically Dutch product: Frisian Farms Gouda cheese.  Named after the northern province of Friesland in The Netherlands, Frisian Farms Cheese Company became Iowa’s only farmstead cheese producer.

In 2010, under the management of Jason and his wife Valerie, the bed and breakfast was rechristened as The Cheesemaker’s Inn to highlight the new cheesemaking venture.  It remained a luxurious place to stay and dine, as they shared their passion for excellent food and memories of meals together around the table.

In 2013, Ron’s youngest brother, Rob, his wife, Kim, and their daughters returned to Pella after a career in the US Air Force to make the inn their “home place” and to continue the legacies so richly established in this home.

 

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Testimonials from Our Guests

Testimonials
Trent & KimTrent & Kim

We will remember this trip for years to come…This was our first B&B and Rob & Kim made us feel right at home. We're not sure how other B&Bs will stand up against our experience here...We wish you many more years of bringing relaxation & hospitality to others.

Ken & SueKen & Sue

The hospitality was great as was the cheese, coffee & Dutch pancake--all of it.

Brian & ShalaneBrian & Shalane

Being a busy mother of 3, I'm used to doing the serving, so it was a blessing to be served such a delicious breakfast. We enjoyed our night away!

Michael & DawnMichael & Dawn

Wonderful B&B! We so enjoyed our stay here! Your home is beautiful and the food was absolutely the best. Thank You for a perfect New Year's Eve!

Klaus & LoriKlaus & Lori

We can't say enough how much we love staying here. It's like being with family or close friends. Room was perfect as always. Breakfast always the highlight. This is our place to decompress. Hope to return soon!

Glen & Mary JoGlen & Mary Jo

We've stayed at several B&Bs and The Cheesemaker's Inn tops them all. Hospitality offered by Rob & Kim was outstanding.

Jeff & LisaJeff & Lisa

What a gift to have our future daughter's shower here :) Your amazing menu to choose from and the beautiful dining area enabled us to treat her like the "princess" she is to our family of boys! A job well done!

David & KarenDavid & Karen

The bride and bridesmaids loved having this wonderful home in which to get ready for the wedding! They enjoyed their "first look" and portraits under the beautiful birch trees out front. We entertained numerous family members in the living room as if this was our own home. Thank You!

Royce & JolieRoyce & Jolie

My husband requested our favorite champagne, so Kim made up a delicious cheese (mmm!) and fruit platter for us & we enjoyed it on the porch. Thanks!

John & MarilynJohn & Marilyn

A lovely oasis at the end of a long day, and a wonderful breakfast to begin the next--many thanks to a very hospitable family

Klaus & LoriKlaus & Lori

What a great place to stay (and eat!).  Felt right at home.  Great food, room and awesome hosts!

Helen & CarolHelen & Carol

I was an exchange student in Holland--loved it--and have sought out Dutch things ever since. Your lovely B&B and good food enhanced the lovely Dutch experience.

Bethany & SusannaBethany & Susanna

We loved your inn…plus every morning a WONDERFUL breakfast cooked by Kim & waited by Rob.  Pella is such a sweet friendly small town!

Greg & EmilyGreg & EmilyKansas City, KS

Breakfast was spectacular. Rob & Kim—thank you for such amazing hospitality. We loved our mini getaway!