Remembering Dutch

Remembering Dutch

Andy VanDolder – regularly referred to as Dutch or Big D, started his career in the customer exterior business as a late teen.

Andy worked for his brother, Wietse selling aluminum doors out of the back of a pickup truck. In 1964, at the age of 17, Andy left the pickup truck behind and opened the doors on a new business: Cash and Carry Aluminum – located in Annan, Ontario just outside of Owen Sound. As the business grew, so did Andy’s family. He was blessed with two sons who grew to appreciate the hard work and dedication Andy brought to the business and followed in his footsteps. Each son bringing their own vision and passion to the company; together the three of them transformed the business into what is now known as VanDolder’s Custom Exteriors.

In 2008 Andy was ready to expand again. With the growth of the business and the team he was building – VanDolder’s Custom Exteriors outgrew their office in Annan and built their new-age village-style showroom on HWY 26 in Owen Sound. This new showroom concept allowed a life-size display of home improvement products allowing customers to see, touch and feel samples up close and installed as they would be on an actual home or building. The new village-style showroom was such a success that in 2018 a second location in Collingwood was upgraded from their small plaza store to a similar-sized showroom and warehouse located on Mountain Road. Both showrooms are continually updated and have become an invaluable resource for builders and homeowners looking for the latest products while being inspired by installation techniques.

Anyone who knew Andy, knew he worked hard and played hard. He lived life to the fullest. Andy had a passion for hunting, fishing, boating, snowmobiling and aircrafts. Andy had great success indulging in his need for speed with Snowmobile racing and travelling the world as a member of the Flying Dutchmen Racing team. Like anything he set his mind to, Andy excelled in his field and walked away with many prizes and trophies over the years. Today you can find the famous flying Dutchman sled, along with prestigious trophies proudly displayed throughout the VanDolder’s Custom Exteriors showroom in Owen Sound. As Andy’s sons grew and become more engraved into the day-to-day operations of the business, he allowed himself to spend a bit more time away from the office. Andy often spent that time with his wife Lucy on their boat enjoying the fresh air and freedom of being on the water. There were many great business relationships built through trust and a firm handshake that often took place on the stern of that boat.

Tragically, while away on their annual business & family trip, Andy passed away suddenly on March 4, 2019, at the age of 71. While he is sadly missed in the business, by his family and in the community, his Legacy and passion continues. VanDolder’s Custom Exteriors is now Owned and Operated by Andy’s eldest son Kris. With the same driving force, passion and dedication as his father, Kris is leading Vandolder’s Custom Exteriors into the future, growing and evolving with both the products and the times. Without a doubt, Andy would be proud of the transformations the business has made since his passing and how his legacy continues to thrive and flourish.

The Andy Van Dolder Scholarship

As a company, we recognize the need for young people in the trade industry. The VanDolder family started this scholarship to help encourage youth to become passionate about the construction trade. This scholarship is awarded to students across Grey, Bruce and Simcoe counties who are enrolled in the College Carpentry and Renovation Techniques program. The student that is awarded this scholarship typically shows signs of Andy’s gregarious spirit and passion for carpentry, as well as an elevated academic merit and commitment to the profession, all qualities Andy, demonstrated for 56 years. This $1000 scholarship is awarded twice in an academic year.

The Dutchman Cup

It wasn’t unusual for Andy to spend a few hours with some buddies on the course every now and then. A good friend decided having regular weekly 9-hole rounds would be a good way to remember Dutch and have a way to contribute to the scholarship fund. This event is open to all golf enthusiasts eager to have fun while making a difference in the community. Every Tuesday at Stone Tree Golf & Fitness in Owen sound after 2:00pm special rates apply for everyone who participates. As an added bonus participants of the Dutchman Cup can end the season with a social tournament, dinner and an evening of prize presentations.

Home Team Family
Golf bag next to Home Team flag in ground
The Dutch Cup - Crowd standing around Home Team Flag