Jess is the egg that holds our dough together. When she's not taking orders from you and giving orders to the boys, she can usually be found performing with her band, practicing yoga, or playing Mario Kart.
Paul is usually not allowed in the kitchen by Chris and not allowed to talk to the customers by Jess. He spends a lot of time updating Facebook, although those privileges have been threatened as well.
Chris has over 15 years of restaurant experience under his belt. When he's not busy playing with food, he can usually be found building things in the garage or tinkering with the vanski.
We started Wolfski’s™ in 2015, but the story goes back much further.
To really understand where this all came from, we have to take a trip back to June 15th, 1951. That’s the day Paul’s Babci and Dziadziu came over to New Haven from Poland. They had survived the horrors of World War II, fought for the Polish Army. and trekked through Europe, the Middle East, and Africa while starting a family. They were ready to start a new life in a land of promise and opportunity.
After passing through Ellis Island, they first moved onto a farm in Durham, CT. Living in a crowded, one-room Quonset hut, they lived and worked long days to save everything they could. They finally settled in New Haven, CT and got jobs working at the same factory, but during opposite shifts. Life wasn’t easy and they rarely saw each other, but what was most important was taking care of their family.
Eventually, their four children grew up and had children of their own. Their house was always filled with cousins, aunts, and uncles, and even people that were just passing through. (They did what they could to help people, especially Polish immigrants looking for a better life. They always had a place for strangers to stay in their multi-family house.) No matter who was gathered around, it was all usually centered around food. While most of it was simple, special food was made around the holidays, including (you guessed it) pierogi.
Paul’s Babci would set up a pierogi workstation in their house on State Street and crank out dozens by hand. They contained very traditional fillings like mushroom and sauerkraut and farmers cheese. She never could have imagined that one day her dough would contain buffalo chicken or corned beef reuben filling!
Making pierogi and eating them together around the holidays was always a good excuse to bring the family together.
Eventually, Paul’s Babci and Dziadziu grew old and passed away. Sadly, many of their family traditions also moved on. Family members grew older and moved farther apart. Then, around 2013, Paul and his then fiancé Jessica had an idea.
What if they could find his Babci’s original dough recipe and try to recreate her famous pierogi for his mom as a Christmas gift?
Sure enough, she still had the recipe and they got to work. In trying to stay with tradition, their first attempt was farmer’s cheese. Needless to say, the first attempt was anything but a win. After nearly a full days worth of work, they had produced a couple dozen sad little Polish dumplings, but a spark was lit that would later turn into a flame.
After another attempt, they gave them to his mom. She was actually pretty impressed.
They continued to improve their re-creation of Babci’s pierogi until one day when they were having dinner at a local pub. The special appetizer of the night was an egg roll sampler, which included buffalo chicken, steak and cheese, and pulled pork egg rolls.
That’s when it hit them like a kielbasa to the head.
Why not take foodie fillings and stuff them into pierogi?
The old country had met the new generation.
The following weekend, Paul and Jess tried it out for a party that they were hosting. The custom pierogi were a big hit they started making them more often.
All of this time, Chris had been working his way up in the New Haven restaurant scene for over a decade. He met Paul around 2012 and the two quickly bonded over their mutual love of classic cars. Then it became more about food and beer which led to Chris trying the pierogi at one of the parties. Being a chef, he naturally had some critiques.
After working in kitchens his entire life, Chris was looking for a creative outlet to showcase his skills and ideas, so the three of them began making pierogi for fun. They started out making them in Chris’s kitchen for friends and family, and they kept demanding them.
One fateful night in the fall of 2014, they had a campfire in the backyard. After consuming a few tall boys (as many great stories start), a longtime friend told them that they had something special and that they should bring it to the next level.
So, the following spring, Wolfski’s, LLC was born, and we haven’t looked back.
Wolfski’s was inspired by a lot of things. Hard, honest work. Strong ties to family and friends. Simple yet delicious food. Helping people out. The blending of cultures. What we do isn’t about recreating something old, but rather using something old to create something new.
A lot of old things have been lost, so this isn’t really about bringing them back. Rather, Wolfski’s™ is about using something old to create something new.
And we want to share that with you.
We hope you feel it whenever you enjoy our food.
The Pierogi Process
If you’re not a Babci, or you’ve never seen one at work, then you might not realize how much goes into actually making pierogi. We spend every Tuesday night in our pierogi shop in North Haven, CT. There, we mix our fresh dough using Babci’s original recipe, roll it out, and cut circles out of it. Then, we place little balls of filling onto the circles, pinch them shut, and put them into the boil. Lastly, we cool them off, package them up, and into the freezer they go. Some of them are sold to the public to take home and prepare, and others are cooked up by us at local fairs, breweries, and wineries. We hope that they’re the best pierogi you’ve ever had in Connecticut (and anywhere else for that matter)!