The new Sikorski's Deli in Largo offers Polish meats, cheeses, stuffed pierogies, rolls, breads and pastries. But it's more than just a specialty deli. Its shelves are stocked with spices, soups, teas, candies, fine crystal, T-shirts, books, movies, music, shoes, face cream and more — all from Poland.
Since moving here in 2001 from Chicago, owner Eva Sikorski missed the foods she enjoyed in that city but couldn't find locally.
Sikorski, 49, was born in Krakow, Poland, and immigrated to Chicago with her family in 1970 as a 10-year-old. She said she moved here to get away from the Windy City's cold winters.
After researching the county's ethnic population, she said she learned that 180,000 Polish-born and people of Polish descent live in Pinellas County.
Thinking there would be a demand, she decided to bring the foods she missed to the area.
Plans for the business came to fruition last spring. The venture took an investment of close to $100,000. The shop opened in September in a 2,800-square-foot building at 910 West Bay Drive, a landmark that for many years housed an antique store.
Since opening, Sikorski said customers have included many Americans of Polish descent, Germans, Hungarians and folks from Slavic countries.
"I like dealing with people," she said. "And it's nice to bring what I missed to others."
Deli employees are manager Grace Zur, who is Sikorski's sister-in-law, and Danuta Kosciolek.
Sikorski said the deli can deliver sandwiches to area businesses and offers catering services for parties and special events.
Already there are plans to expand, Sikorski said. She's looking to open a second deli in the Clearwater area and is searching for a location.