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Introducing Miss Emily Kozak’s One-Woman Business: Emily’s Pierogis!

Entrepreneur and Polish chef, Emily Kozak!

“To be successful in anything, you have to be disciplined enough to keep going even if you’re failing and tired”, said young entrepreneur and Polish chef, Emily Kozak. 

Emily is a senior at Wayne Hills and opened her community renowned Pierogi business, “Emily’s Pierogis”, back in November. On her website, Emily describes Pierogis as “potato and cheese filled dumplings that are a significant part of Polish culture and history.” Pierogis are a staple in the Polish diet and that of other Slavic countries, and are served with various toppings ranging from butter to grilled onions. Emily handcrafts her soft pierogi dough and creamy, rich filling, and cooks them to perfection; to top them off, she adds her famous crispy bacon and smoked onion topping.  

Emily first created her business as a way to earn some extra money after her other job cut back her hours. She thought that this would only be a short-term activity; however, she soon realized that her pierogi business allowed her to share her culture with other Polish Americans and people in the community interested in trying new cuisines. “I can share my culture–and that’s why I keep doing it,” Emily admitted. 

Emily’s Pierogis

When starting her business, Emily found that pierogis would be not only be a cuisine that is close to home, but also one that many people enjoy. She pointed out that there is a large population of people with Polish roots in Northern New Jersey, and “pierogis are a dish that most people are familiar with.” 

Emily drives around Wayne and nearby towns delivering her pierogis every Saturday afternoon, and is especially busy around the holidays as she caters for many families. Most of her customers are Wayne Hills families and people from her other job. At her other job, she markets her business by handing out flyers and delivering pierogis to her coworkers. She never fails to get her business out there, going from Wayne Hills classroom to classroom and customer to customer telling people about her business and bringing in batches of pierogis the next day. 

When asked about how she has touched the lives of other people with her pierogi business, Emily shared an emotional moment she had with one of her customers. This customer is a Polish American whose mother felt as though she had lost her Polish language and culture after coming to America. When this woman and her mother shared a plate of Emily’s Pierogis, the mother had gotten emotional because they reminded her of her own childhood and life before she came to America. 

Emily’s Pierogis Flyer

Moments like this one led Emily to become fully committed to her business, as she realized that her business was about “sharing her culture and connecting other Poles who were lost in the process of assimilation back to their ancestry.” She has touched the lives of other Polish Americans, her friends, and even her teachers in school. History teacher Mr. Shale, for example, ordered two batches of Emily’s pierogis to share with his family, and found that they were a hit at home. He admitted that the pierogis were “solid.” 

Although Emily has already reached the homes and hearts of many people in our community, she is not going to stop here. She foresees expanding her business further, and even setting up booths and tents around town as the weather gets warmer. Emily anticipates continuing to make Polish Americans feel like in touch with their heritage, while also opening up people of other heritages to the savory flavors of her own culture. 

With Easter Sunday approaching, Emily is currently taking catering orders for the holiday. If you love pierogis, or are just interested in trying new Polish dishes, run, don’t walk, over to her website and order some of Emily’s delicious Pierogis!

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About the Contributor
Stephanie Tulpan
Stephanie Tulpan, Junior Editor
Stephanie is a junior here at Wayne Hills. She has been writing for the Patriot Press ever since her freshman year, and is currently the 2023-2024 Junior Editor. She primarily enjoys writing about school news and culture/entertainment news. She is an officer in several other clubs, including student council and French Club, and is also a member of the Wayne Hills Dance Team.

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