Downtown Zeeland seems to always have had an ample number of clothing stores for both men, women and children. Here several of the ladies' apparel stores are represented.
BON TON SHOP
Formerly Moerdyk Dry Goods & Groceries, then taken over by G.J. Boone who continued in the same business. This building was involved in a tremendous fire in the 1930s. Near the 1940s, Augie Kasten took over his location to begin a business in ladies' ready-to-wear and dry goods. They named it the "Bon Ton".
later, Gary Jaarda bought out the Bon Ton shop and changed the name.
In April 1950, they held a Grand Opening shown in a full page advertisement printed by the Zeeland Record. Jaarda's served the downtown area through the 1960s.
Mademoiselle set up shop on the north side of Main Street, which was formerly the Van Eenenaam Cigar Shop and later a pool hall. The pool was popular with the high school crowd. Mademoiselle, ladies' ready-to-wear, served the downtown area from early 1970s thru early 1980s.
THE DUTCHESS SHOP
Formerly Boonstra's clothing store. After Boonstra's closed, local investors felt the downtown would benefit by having a ladies' retail shop. In the late 1960s,
a group formed and pledged $50,000 to purchase the building, redesign it and purchase initial stock. It ran for the next 30 years and was the last full service ladies' shop downtown, closing in the 1990s.
The Dutchess had expanded into a second location named "Career Plus" featuring medical and restaurant uniforms and footwear. When larger stores began developing in outlying areas, competition eventually caused the closing of Career Plus. Downtown Zeeland seems to always have had an ample number of clothing stores for both men, women and children. Here several of the ladies apparel stores are represented.
Written by Suzy Frederick, Summer 2012