Ukrainian family bringing authentic cuisine to Winnipeg community centre

One Ukrainian family is bringing a taste of home to a Winnipeg community centre.

Olha Mashyna, her husband Oleksandr and their two kids came to Winnipeg in March. The family is from a small town in Ukraine, where they owned two stores and ran a cafe.

“It’s two stores, beer store and grocery store…but now it’s closed because we can’t work there and we closed everything. We have war in our village.”

Now, the family is cooking up Ukrainian comfort foods, including perogies, soups, and cabbage rolls, out of the kitchen at the Dakota Community Centre.

“We are really excited because it’s a big help for us. We don’t have a lot of money for starting new business in Canada,” Mashyna said.

“They help us a lot because we came and started work here.”

Michele Augert, CEO of the Dakota Community Centre, said the family’s food is a welcome addition to the cuisine offered at the community centre.

“It was a perfect marriage made in heaven that we had an opportunity and have a place for them here and so we’re really excited about the opportunities that it’s going to bring for the community,” she said.

Augert said community members have been pleasantly surprised by the Ukrainian food, adding that Olha and Oleksandr put a lot of love and pride into the food they prepare.

“While they make a lot of things that are quite different than what a lot of the people are used to, I would just encourage everyone to try it and I think they’ll love it,” she said.

Mashyna said they are excited to prepare old Ukrainian recipes for Winnipeggers to try.

“Maybe it’s my destiny to prepare good food for Canadian people, because I know how it works and I know you want good food,” she said.

The food will be available on weeknights from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on the weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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