BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW-TV) — For more than three decades, Chrusciki Bakery was one of the most popular vendors that helped attract big holiday crowds to Buffalo's Broadway Market during Christmas and Easter. That is now over as the popular bakery has closed its Broadway Market stand.
"It was a very difficult decision but it became a struggle. Very little foot traffic," explained Ania Duchon, president and owner. While the Broadway Market became a second home for the family-run business, lack of customers in the market made it unsustainable to continue operating a year-round stand.
It is unknown if Chrusciki's will return to the market for holiday seasons.
"This past year, we really battled with it. Do we, or do we not, pull the trigger? And then we finally had to say that we have to cut the cord," added Duchon.
The legacy bakery was started in 1987 by two polish immigrants, Tadeusz and Hania, who left their two young daughters in Poland so they could travel to Buffalo in order to start a new life. "They came here to Buffalo with $100 and two suitcases," added Duchon.
Two years later, the young girls followed their parents to Buffalo and began working the Broadway Market stand. "I remember hiding behind the counter with my sister and saying "We don't speak any English. We can't help anybody," laughed Duchon.
Through the years, Chrusciki Bakery expanded and became one of Buffalo's most popular bakeries - especially at Christmas and Easter.
Going forward, Chrusciki Bakery will still operate its Lancaster location.
It is also opening a new location that features a Polish bakery(Chrusciki Bakery & Cafe), restaurant (Simply Pierogi Polish Kitchen), and Polish bar (Stolat Bar) in the former Sears store at the Eastern Hills Mall. The hope is to have the new locations open by the end of July or in August.
"Stolat Bar means cheers or a hundred years. And Stolat Bar will feature many polish vodkas and beers," said Duchon. In addition, the new locations will offer authentic Polish lunch and diners.
The new locations provide more space for the business and better parking accommodations for customers. People will now be able to see the bakers decorating various cakes and pastry products. "People can come in and linger. Have something sweet. Maybe a little lunch and finish it off with a drink," explained Duchon
As to the Broadway Market, manager Kathleen Peterson said a search is underway to find a replacement vendor for Chrusciki's - and that could possibly be another bakery.