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After their cafe was destroyed in the war, Ukrainian couple opens pierogies shop in Strathroy, Ont. | CBC News


A smiling family with two kids.
Liudmyla Potomkina runs Wow Pierogies Ukraine with her husband, Anatolii. Liudmyla was one-month pregnant with their daughter when they came to Canada. (Submitted by Liudmyla Potomkina)

A Ukrainian couple in Strathroy, Ont., is celebrating a dream come true. 

After their cafe back in Kyiv was destroyed in the war, they’ve just opened the doors to a new storefront at 46 Front Street, bringing the taste of home to their new community — traditional Ukrianian pierogies and cabbage rolls. 

“We make pierogies every day, maybe around 1000 pieces per day,” said Liudmyla Potomkina. “We found a great location and opened the store.”

Liudmyla runs Wow Pierogies Ukraine in their community, west of London, with her husband, Anatolii. They also sell smoothies and freshly squeezed juices at the shop. 

They first launched the business before Christmas, and have since watched it grow, from selling pierogies out of a freezer in nearby Muggs Coffeebar and Clayroom, to now having a place to call their own in Canada. 

In Kyiv, she ran the cafe for more than a decade, and it was open when Russia invaded in February 2022. 

“When the war began, we lost the business in Kyiv,” she said. 

A smiling woman with a long, black ponytail holding a plate of pierogies in one hand, her daughter in another.
Liudmyla Potomkina’s youngest daughter was born in Canada last summer. (Submitted by Liudmyla Potomkina)

Their family arrived in Canada in June 2022 when she was pregnant, she said, after being forced to leave their home in Ukraine behind. Her baby is now 11 months old.

It was always their dream to open a family business, she said. 

“We changed our life. We found a new home. We found a new life, and we started also a new business here in Canada,” she said. 

Afternoon Drive6:06Ukrainian couple opens pierogi storefront in Strathroy

A Ukrainian couple in Strathroy is celebrating a dream come true. After their cafe back in Kyiv was destroyed in the war, they have just opened the doors to a brand new storefront business that brings the taste of home to Strathroy with delicious pierogies. Host Allison Devereaux speaks with Mila Potomkina, who runs Wow Pierogies Ukraine with her husband.

Sweet and savoury

From double cheddar potato to sauerkraut or sweet cherry, they make pierogies in a variety of sweet and savoury flavours. 

The most popular is bacon potato cheddar, she said. But her favourite is the cherry. 

“Every morning on Sunday my family started breakfast with cherry pierogies. This is very delicious like a dessert with sour cream, brown sugar and jam,” she said. It’s become popular with some clients in Strathroy too. 

A plate of pierogies with bacon sprinkled on top and sour cream on the side.
Potomkina said their most popular variety is bacon potato cheddar. (Submitted by Liudmyla Potomkina)

“We have a pierogies for dinner. We have a pierogies for dessert,” she said. 

There is a secret to such delicious pierogies — and it comes from her family. 

“My grandma taught me about this recipe,” she said. “We are very happy because we have all the family recipes.”

Sixteen containers of cabbage rolls
Traditional Ukrianian pierogies and cabbage rolls are available at the storefront shop in Strathroy. (Submitted by Liudmyla Potomkina)

But there’s another element, too. 

“We use the best farm ingredients,” she said, noting she works with local farmers to source organic vegetables and beef. 


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