Vander Farmers is a love story through and through. Marjolein and Mario grew up in neighboring small towns just less than 20 minutes outside of Amsterdam. Both fond of the tranquility and the freeing life on a farm, the newly-wed came to the Midwest to realize their American Dream in 2001. In the next few years, they welcomed their first boy, Luc, to their family, started their very own dairy farm, all while building a tight-knit community for themselves in Sturgis, Michigan. The family would host dinner parties that, according to Marjolein, often involved too much good food and too much drinks.

Almost two decades later, now a thriving family of four, the love between Marjolein and Mario is still on full display. In 2016, Marjolein set out on a mission to find the best wagyu beef for Mario as a Christmas gift. After weeks of searching, it became apparent to Marjolein that, like her, many meat connoisseurs in the Midwest are not able to source high quality wagyu in the region with the level of transparency that she expects from her food source. She told Mario about her unfulfilled mission and the challenges she faced in the process, he replied, “Well, I guess we’ll just have to raise it ourselves.”


When Marjolein was a teenager, she jokingly said that she wanted to marry a farmer when she grew up. Unsurprisingly, there’s always a little truth in every joke we tell. Born and raised on a farm, Mario was 19 when he met 16-year-old Marjolein. They were drawn to each other’s humor and, most importantly, their love for good food. The hardworking pair envisioned a quiet family life on a farm where they can stay close to nature, work with animals, and nurture a tight-knit community; so they moved to Sturgis, Michigan where the loving family share darn-good meals together every day.


Luc and Roy are like a beautiful cross-section of freedom-loving middle America and a tranquil small-town Europe. Like many of their peers in rural Michigan, they grew up with sports and nature, and yet, they are also exposed to the Dutch’s dedication to eating good food and to caring for the environment. Both partial-owners to Vander Farmers, Luc and Roy are taught the hard work it takes to run a farm. Luc, now 19, has grown passionate about the culinary world and is going to school in the Netherlands for International Food Business. Roy, 14, has started helping out on the farm and loves any kind of outdoor activity.