Ineke Van Wyngaarden, a native of Holland, only saw the first half and the final four minutes of her country's upset victory over Brazil in the quarterfinals of the World Cup on Friday morning because she had to go into work. But she was right in the middle of the celebration, as Dutch natives and fans flocked to her workplace, Kaas & Co. A Taste of Holland store in Norwalk.
Two customers, Constant and Esther Van Winden of Bridgeport, sported Holland flags painted on their arms. During the game, Constant's entire face was painted orange. Holland scored two second half goals to defeat the heavy favorite Brazil, 2-1 to advance to the semifinals next Tuesday.
Opened in 1983, the store sells Dutch cheeses, licorice, candy, cookies and other items directly form Holland.
"It was a really good game. We are so excited. We want to keep going," said Constant Van Winden, whose parents both live in Holland. He watched the game with his wife, Esther, and 16 other people, including some of his students from the school he teaches at in Bridgeport.
Van Wyngaarden said that Dutch people living in Fairfield County frequent the store, doing their grocery shopping there because the "just have to have" the authentic Dutch items sold there. Some immigrants spend as much as $200 to have a taste of their homeland.
"Americans come here too, but they buy a few cookies or something," she said, motioning around the store and the various delicacies that she said intrigue non-Dutch people.
With the victory, Van Wyngaarden expects to see a lot of people coming in to buy cookies or cheese for viewing parties for Tuesday's semifinal.
"People will want to get together," she said. "It will get them in the mood to watch the game."
The Taste of Holland store is located on 83 Washington St. in South Norwalk. It is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Items may also be purchased online or through mail-order.
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