Stories by Mail, Day 33 – Niche markets

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“Welcome to Rembrandt Hoeve,” Peter-jan Tijhuis smiled, stretching his jumpsuit-clad arm to showcase his merchandise. While he considered Dutch television programming far more sophisticated than the American options available in Amstelveen, Peter had never missed Wheel of Fortune during his formative years. He held a deep appreciation for Vanna White’s presentation skills.

“Uh,” the tourist said. His mouth and eyebrows silently bobbed and molded questions as he stared at his wife. “I’m not sure what–” she began politely.

“Over there, our clog factory,” Peter said, sweeping his arm to the left. “We use a delicate process that my family perfected in the early 1300 to coax superior performance out of the wood. Over there, our award-winning cheese farm. And this, our latest offering and the future of the footwear market: cheese clogs!”  He pointed to a kiosk in the center aisle where three small boxes rested.

“You…sell clogs made from…cheese?”, the man asked slowly, as if he had very recently begun learning a new language and was not convinced he was pronouncing the words properly.

Peter beamed with pride.


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