Hello! I’m Maartje Murphy and I am the owner of Duchessa Gelato. Yay! That is fun to write out. This is my first ever blog post so bear with me. First of all I want to say THANK YOU for visiting my blog and website! For those of you who do not know me I am a 23 year old gelatiere, nurse, wife, and dairy farmers daughter! You may wonder why I added the dairy farmers daughter. Well, I believe my parents are the reason Duchessa Gelato is alive and active today. My parents, two older brothers, and I immigrated from the Netherlands to the Americas in 2001. My parents were dairy farmers in the Netherlands, Canada, and now Carrington, North Dakota. Throughout my life I have watched my parents and brothers work hard for their passion, which is dairy farming. My parents have set such a great example for my brothers and I on how to follow your dreams and to work hard to get there. To be honest I never had an interest to become a dairy farmer, but I LOVE dairy products! This is why I started Duchessa Gelato.
The dream started when we would travel back to the Netherlands a couple times a year to visit our family. We ate gelato each and every day we were there. I know what you’re thinking. Each and every day. Haha. It’s true. I remember sitting in the gelato shop thinking to myself, I want to do this someday. I had shared my dreams with my family and they all thought I was a little crazy. A year later I was sitting in a nursing class when my mom sent me a text that Carpigiani Gelato University was coming to Chicago for a week long excursion. She followed that text with, “mother and daughter trip?” Yes, I know I shouldn’t have my phone on in class!! Instantly, I got a huge smile on my face and my heart began beating faster. I was ECSTATIC! I thought to myself is this real life! My mom booked two flights to Chicago and the summer of 2017 we were learning how to churn gelato.
Later that year, I applied for an APUC grant that would help cover the start up costs for Duchessa Gelato. My mom and I drove all the way to Stanley North Dakota where I presented my idea. I felt like Elle Woods in my pink coat. A young woman sharing a dream among business leaders. I remember driving home feeling disappointed thinking the APUC team did not believe in my dream. The next morning I received a call from one of the APUC team members. I was so nervous to hear what he had to say. When he said to me “Duchessa Gelato has been granted the full amount requested.” I jumped with joy and excitement! I yelled, “MOM WE GOT THE GRANT.” She didn’t believe me right away. We both began calling my dad, brothers, and husband and stated “there is no going back now!” That day, my dream turned into reality. I can not be more grateful for the APUC team for believing and supporting my dream!