No one makes authentic perogies like a Polish grandmother or babcia and Danuta Rusiecki makes some of the best perogies in town.
“I just have a passion for cooking and everyone was telling me, ‘You should have a restaurant because your food is amazing’,” said Danuta. “So, my husband retired and we decided to go for it.”
Their restaurant the Broken English Bistro is truly a family enterprise with Danuta’s husband, Edward, and their daughter, Dominika, all pitching in.
“We do our own groceries and run our own errands,” said Dominika. “My dad was a math teacher in Poland. He is very good with numbers so he does the payroll, scheduling and bookkeeping.”
The family moved to Canada from Warsaw, Poland in 1992 when Dominika was 6-years-old and settled in Kitchener. She studied business at Conestoga College and graduated n 2007.
“I have a brother but he lives in Calgary,” said Dominika. “My parents have four grandchildren, two are mine and two are my brother’s.”
Her brother moved out west to find work but Dominika decided to stay close to home.
“I’m a mommy’s girl,” she said. “I love cooking and I love Polish food too. I am really close to my parents. My brother moved to another province. I could never do that.”
Edward worked as a truck driver after they moved to Canada and often brought friends home to taste Danuta’s culinary creations.
“I have always loved to cook and I learned when I was a child watching my grandma and my mom,” said Danuta. “They were very good cooks.”
Word spread fast about her homemade perogies and other traditional dishes.
“My mom would make perogies from home,” said Dominika. “It started off in the kitchen and it moved into the dining room and then to the livingroom because a friend of a friend would hear. There was flour all over the house. They decided to look for a commercial spot because my dad was saying this is getting out of hand.”
They first looked for a space in their hometown of Kitchener.
“We couldn’t find anything and this little spot came up in Guelph,” said Dominika. “It has a nice patio so we lucked out and this is where we settled.”
They opened on Sep 19, 2017 and have spent the last year building the business.
“We have, first of all, perogies, cabbage rolls and schnitzel,” said Danuta. “Our goulash and potato pancakes are big sellers. Everything is made from scratch daily. What is not sold by the end of the day goes in the garbage and we start all over. We go St Jacob’s Farmers’ Market every week to get fresh produce and all natural ingredients from local farmers.”
Response from the community has been great.
“Our reviews on Facebook and Google are pretty good,” said Dominika. “On Facebook we have five stars and on Google we have 4.7.
It has been an exciting but exhausting year for them so they have decided to close the restaurant temporarily to take a well-earned vacation.
“We are taking a week off to breathe and catch up from Sep 17 to 25,” said Dominika.
“When we get back we want to do something for our one-year anniversary. I am not sure what, some kind of promotion for sure.”
They have found a recipe for success but it doesn’t include plans to franchise or expand the business.
“As of right now probably not,” said Dominika. “My parents are in their 60s so this is kind of their retirement hobby. Maybe I will take over some day but even if I do I’m not opening any other locations.”
Her parents have no plans to stop any time soon.“As long as we can do it we will,” said Danuta.