February 27, 2024

Maid Rite owner passes on restaurant legacy

New owners to take over in October

Dan and Pam Holtkamp have sold Newton’s Maid-Rite to new owners and are retiring after 51 years of working in downtown Newton.

While the Holtkamps have owned the Maid-Rite since the 70′s, the shop has been a staple of Newton for nearly 100 years.

The shop came into being in 1926, known then as the Maid-Rite Hamburg. Fred Angell was the original founder and owner, who opened two shops, one here in Newton and another in Muscatine. Angell ended up selling the shop to Gus Foster only a few months after its opening, with Foster operating the business until 1937.

During the 1930′s Angell ended up copyrighting the Maid-Rite name and launched the first restaurant franchise in the Midwest. This franchise was based in Muscatine until 1982 when it was purchased by a group of investors from Des Moines.

The restaurant passed through several hands from the 30′s until the 60′s, but nothing about the food or service has changed much.

So, it’s safe to say that the Maid-Rite has been apart of many local patrons lives since childhood.

Dan and Pam Holtkamp came into the picture on May 4, 1970 when they purchased and opened their version of the Maid-Rite shop.

And while Dan didn’t grow up in Newton, he and his wife understood the massive responsibility they were taking on when they bought the restaurant.They did their very best to uphold the history of the place, and most Newton residents would agree that they’ve done a pretty good job.

Now after 51 years in business Dan has officially hung up his apron and passed on the restaurant to its new owners.

The new owners, Michael and Pam Brown, will be keeping all of the original recipes and almost all of the current staff.

Dan’s last day officially owning the business will be Sept. 30, but that doesn’t mean he won’t still be around.

“The new owners understand the responsibility they are taking on by buying this business, and I made sure to sell it to someone who would respect the history of this place. The restaurant is in good hands,” Dan said.

Dan and Pam have two children and three grandchildren, and will be spending their retirement visiting them and watching their grandkids sports games in Overland Park, Kan.

“We’re not gonna be snowbirds, but hopefully Kansas will have milder winters than Iowa,” Dan said.

The Holtkamp’s will not be moving immediately, but with both Dan and Pam being well into their golden years they hope to spend their time focusing on family life and traveling.

Abby Knipfel

Abby "Adler" Knipfel

Journalist at Newton Daily News. Currently covering Jasper County and writing passionate opinion pieces. They/Them