You’ll probably find Marilee Nixon, president of Dutch Maid Bakery, busy with planning, taking care of employees and making sure the shop is running smoothly rather than mixing cake batters and cookies at the bakery — a point of pride for Goshen. She and her husband, Jerry, took ownership of the bakery in 1999 to “save the bakery for Goshen,” Nixon said, and the couple still live in Goshen. Nixon has worked as a registered nurse at Elkhart General Hospital and also has experience working in the IT industry. Interview is from Tuesday, Oct. 13, and answers have been edited slightly for clarity or context.
What did you have for breakfast today?
Oatmeal with blueberries and raw almonds.
What is your current frame of mind?
Challenged. A lot going on with our technology system and getting ready for the holidays.
What is your biggest extravagance?
Home maintenance and improvement. We live in a 1906 farmhouse.
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What trait do you dislike the most in others?
Complaining and never being satisfied about things. Or selfish complaining.
If you could cook dinner for one person, who would it be and why?
My husband. I’m not the one that does the fancy, extravagant meals, but I know he appreciates it and he works with me.
What is the best gift anyone has ever given you?
That could go a few ways. First, God’s gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Materially, pearls my dad gave to my mom for their 25th wedding anniversary. I still wear them often, but not here.
What is the wildest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Oh, I’m pretty safe. But I have had shark meat.
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Which of your five senses is the strongest?
Touch, the comforting part. Like putting Uggs on when I get home or a hug from my husband. Plus, texture is important in food and that is just as important as touch.
What was your first job?
I was a cashier at Judd Drugs.
What motto or mantra do you live by?
To God be the glory. I try to focus on doing things the way the Lord wants me to.
What is your preferred way to travel?
Depends on where I am going. The most relaxing or interesting way I have traveled is by electric boat.
Who or what is your biggest motivator?
Probably our employees and our customers.
What is your favorite smell?
Baking apple pie.
How do you define success?
Continuously improving things. Making things better and having backup plans. And you have to have the resources to do both. It’s a cycle.
What book has had the biggest impact on you?
The Bible. Easy.
What is your favorite hobby out of the kitchen?
Working in my yard.
What is one skill you still want to master?
Having a purpose in retirement.
What is your signature trait or characteristic?
Calmness under pressure.
If you could bring one person back from the past, who would it be?
My mom. I still have questions I want to ask her.
What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
Focus on relaxing.
What is one kitchen tool you can’t live without?
A good knife.
What cooking TV personality can you not stand?
I’m not a fan of Rachael Ray, but I can stand her. I even like Guy Fieri.
What is one food you’d never eat?
Liver. I’ve tasted it and never again.