I’m with ERIE
Old-world bakery known for Polish roots
December 15, 2010E.M. Chrusciki, Renowned Polish Bakery
Customer with A/C Associates Insurance
European delicacies inside the bakery
Hark the herald angels: You’ve probably heard of Buffalo wings – but what about Buffalo angel wings? These delightful lightly fried pastries are the signature item at E. M. Chrusciki Bakery. Chrusciki’s famous angel wings get shipped around the country by aficionados and are relished by regulars. (Chrusciki is the Polish word for “cookie.”)
Where you can find them: Tucked in to the historic Broadway Market district in Buffalo. (And soon, in Lancaster, N.Y.) You can also find them online at chruscikibakery.com.
The incredible, edible journey: Teddy and Hania Robieniek started the E.M. Chrusciki Bakery in 1987. They had left then-Communist Poland a few years prior in search of a better future for their family. They left everything behind — jobs, their home, even two young daughters.
After almost two years of separation, their daughters Ania and Monika, reunited with their parents in Buffalo and remain deeply involved in the business.
Baked in tradition: The family keeps their Polish heritage alive with from-scratch, handmade baked goods. Recipes are taken from famous Polish bakeries and carefully perfected in their ovens.
“We like to make sure our family can connect with our customers in a way that makes them feel like family,” says Ania Gurnari, who has taken over management of the operation. “We really do speak Polish, just like your Grandma used to.”
Tradition and more: In addition to Polish baked goods, the bakery carries many other European treats like baklava, éclairs, as well as local favorites known as half-moon cookies.
Where everybody knows your name: The bakery maintains an old-world feel, and the family makes sure they maintain strong connections throughout the community.“The community likes the quality of our baked goods, and that has helped us grow,” says Ania. “So, we like to stay connected — we’re always out-and-about at festivals, local offices and charity events. We’re not just the type of family that runs their business from behind the scenes. We really do get involved. People recognize us, and we remember their names, too — or at least their usual orders!”
Why ERIE: Even though times are tough in Buffalo, the family is opening a second location in Lancaster, N.Y., that is expected to be serving up baked goods by January. As part of that process, they are working closely with their ERIE Agent Tony Batog of A/C Associates Insurance, who has helped them with their insurance needs for years.
“We’re very close with Tony,” Ania says. “It’s very easy to communicate with him and the people at his agency, so it not only makes our lives easier, but it also brings a friendliness to the forefront.”
In particular, Ania says they appreciate the prompt professional service and the agency’s willingness to go the extra mile when they have a problem or question.
“We've always liked the people with ERIE,” she says. “Anything we've needed, they've helped us with and made our lives easier. Anytime we walk into the office, for anything we need, they treat us like family--just like we run our business.”