Pulaski Bakery Carries on Paczki Day Tradition - WBAY

Pulaski Bakery Carries on Paczki Day Tradition


It's fat Tuesday, perhaps better known as "Paczki Day."

A day when many indulge in the polish pastries before the start of Lent.

It's about more than just business as one Pulaski bakery, but also tradition.

Polka music fills the air as crowds of people wait in line at Smurawa's Country Bakery for one thing -- Paczkis.

Some come every year.

"It's one of those things you look forward to and the kids look forward to and it's always fun. It's just a cool thing," said Brian Morgan of Pulaski who has been visiting the bakery for 15 years.

For others, it's their first time inside the family-owned, Polish bakery.

"I got up at ten minutes to four just to make sure I was up and ready," said Nancy Schultz of Green Bay.

Meanwhile in the kitchen, employees hustle to keep up with demand on the busiest day of the year. 

"You stick them in the oven, pull them out, sugar them," explained Carrie Calaway.

Then they get filled with one of 18 flavors.

"I'm going to go for an assortment. I have strict orders to get raspberry, cherry, lemon and apricot," added Schultz.

This year Smurawa's Country Bakery hopes to sell at least 23,000 paczkis, but this year is also very special and about carrying on a very important tradition.

"We lost our mom this year, so it's really important to us to carry on for her and just for us as a family," said Calaway.

"This year is very special, because the paczki recipe comes from my dad's side and I got my baking passion from my mom," said owner Greg Smurawa.

That recipe dates back 85 years and five generations.

It's something the family is proud to share.

"Food transcends all. You might not understand the culture, the language, the clothing but people are always willing to try the food," explained Smurawa.

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