By Gwen Rollings
Pierogi, paczki, golabki and kielbasa might be words that don’t flow easily over the tongue as you say them, but the dumplings, pastries, stuffed cabbage rolls and sausages become wonderful flavors as they flow over the palette as you eat them.
All of these foods and more are available at the European Flavors Polish Market in Brandon. Only open for eight months at 648 Oakfield Drive, it has captured the local niche market for Polish and European foods and drinks.
The success of European Flavors Polish Market is due to the expertise and dedication of Kasia Pogorzelski, owner, bakery chef and preparer extraordinaire of Polish and European soups and entrees. Pogorzelski worked for years in a bakery in Poland before coming to Chicago in 2003 with Mariusz, her husband, and daughter, Julia. After moving to Brandon in 2018, family and friends encouraged Pogorzelski to open European Flavors as other similar markets were an hour away.
Pogorzelski welcomes each customer with the smile and friendly greeting of someone who loves what she does.
“Whenever customers come in and see all our homemade foods, they recall memories from their past of parents and grandparents who made or bought many of the things we carry. It makes them very happy, and that makes me happy. Every Friday we want to start serving white fish which is a Polish tradition,” she said.
You don’t have to be born in Poland or of European descent as she makes Floridians happy, too, with her homemade breads, pierogi and soups like beet, chicken, tomato and cucumber. Her daughter, Julia, is in high school and helps out at the market on Saturday.
“My mother makes something fresh and different every day,” she said. “I especially like my mother’s pastries, and many come here just for them. In fact, everyone is invited on Thursdays for fresh Polish cakes and pastries like cheesecake, apple cake and gingerbread with whipped cream.”
If you want to get there early for freshly baked pastries or Polish sausage, the market is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.