After spending time driving back and forth to the East Coast filling coolers with her favorite Polish ingredients after moving to the Valley, Marta Mazur decided to open her own place that offers those traditional items.
So now she’s working with her mother at Krakus Polish Deli & Bakery, making things such as pirogies, cheese crepes, bigos (a Polish stew) and a number of Polish pastries.
Ewa Murman, Mazur’s mother, said the recipes are her daughter’s, but they have the traditional flavors.
“I’ve taken older recipes and I’ve tweaked them,” Mazur said.
Murman helps cook in the morning, then cares for Mazur’s son in the afternoon. Krakus has only a staff of three.
The store also carries Polish meats, ingredients and other supplies such as pickles and candy that are native to the country.
“Supplies arrive weekly from a distributor of Polish goods based in Chicago,” Mazur said. “We try to carry stuff that people would have a hard time finding.”
Even the name is designed to invoke Polish tradition, with Mazur meeting her husband at a Krakus Hall, the name commonly used for Polish restaurants and markets throughout the country.
Krakus is located at 7050 Market St. The menu is available online at www.KrakusPolishDeli.com.
It has been open for nearly a year, and word about the food seems to be getting out.
Customers were busy buying pirogies in the middle of the afternoon when many food businesses might experience a slow period between the lunch and dinner rushes.
Ray Rackoff of Hubbard said he loves the food at Krakus because you can taste that everything is made by hand.
“There are so many companies that buy processed food now because it’s cheaper,” he said. “It’s hard to find real homemade cooks.”
Rackoff said he found out about Krakus through a coupon and has come back three or four times.
One of the more popular items is paczki, a Polish donut, not available in the summer.
“I try to be a traditionalist. We’ll have paczki with fillings like raspberry, plum and apricot, but we won’t have custard,” Mazur said.
The paczki are available each year from September to May.
“I was going to have them available all year long, but I had trouble getting the dough to rise during the summer,” Mazur said.
The bow-tie cookies are another item that has been a big seller. Krakus can’t keep them on the shelves, she said.
“There may not be a lot of Polish people in the area, but we get people who are from other places like Ukraine, Croatia or Russia,” Mazur said.
“They all have stories about their foods from home.”
Many other people have become familiar with Krakus through the Simply Slavic festival.