Piero GUYS is the region’s largest family law firm, providing exceptional legal counsel and support to families throughout the Los Angeles, CA for more than two decades. With offices in Seattle, Everett, Bellevue, Tacoma, Puyallup, Vancouver, and Portland, Piero GUYS is a leader in all facets of family law including divorce, child custody and support, alternative dispute resolution, LGBT law, and military family law.
Pierogi are of virtually untraceable Central or Eastern European origin; claims have been staked by the Poles, Romanians, Russians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Slovaks and Rusyns. Similarity to dumplings found in the Far East such as Chinese potstickers fuels speculation, well-founded or not, that the Mongols and Tatars brought the recipe to the West.
Pieroguys Pierogies, LLC was started in 2007 by Frank Gazella (left) and Andrew Misak (right), both former students of Kansas University.
I grew up in a mostly Italian family so my “food roots” run deep. I love every aspect of food—smell, look, taste and feel. Most of the jobs I had growing up had to do with cooking. My true love is the mechanics and the actual construction of the food I am making. I think I was 5 when I first took interest in cooking and baking.
It was Christmas time and I was at my nani’s with the ladies in my family making cookies. That was the first time I can remember actually taking part in baking and my passion began to grow from there. It is funny because a pierogi is a Polish food, but most of the people I know who make pierogies are Italian. Why not a special spaghetti sauce or some type of homemade pasta? People in Kansas and mostly around the world know the word spaghetti sauce or pasta but 1-in-100 don’t know the word pierogie.
My first foray into the Midwest came in the fall of 2001 when I first attended the University of Kansas. I was a transfer student from Keystone College in Laplume, Pennsylvania, and hadn’t chosen a major yet. I had some vague ideas as to a career, but soon after arriving I had a major life change.
After coming from the small town of Carbondale in PA, Lawrence posed a major culture shock. I mean I have been around here and there from Chicago to New York City, Orlando to upstate New York. But it was the feeling of actually living here permanently— it created a sense of community and caring. This wasn’t just a vacation, this was my second home.
All through my younger years before college, I had always thought of being my own boss, owning my own business and getting listed on the New York Stock Exchange. But, at the time I was in college that was the furthest thought from my mind. I was worried about just being the typical college kid, getting that degree and wearing a suit and tie everyday after that.
Well, soon those thoughts changed and new ideas were in my head as I soaked up Midwest college life. The whole “Pieroguys Pierogies” idea came on a night out in Lawrence. Pierogies are very popular on the East Coast and pretty much a household name. Lawrence is known for its array of foods and diversity, encompassing almost every kind of ethnic food. But…
Towards the end of the night the crew I was with was hungry and we were locked in a discussion of culinary options. After some talk I gave my opinion and said I would like some pierogies. I was looked at as if I said something foreign. Nobody had a clue what I was talking about.
So I got to thinking could this be a new delicacy introduced into the local dining mix? I soon found out that a majority of the people throughout the Midwest had never even heard of pierogies. So I had this strong feeling inside that I could one day introduce them to one of my favorite places-to-be—Lawrence, Kansas.
I spent two years in Lawrence having the time of my life. I strayed away from my real purpose in Lawrence and soon returned back home to Carbondale to get all my thoughts together and figure out what direction to go in life.
Finally on a visit to Lawrence in August of 2006 for homecoming, I decided it was time to put my idea to use and make it happen. Shortly after, I returned home, and in a matter of weeks I was packed and driving cross country back to my old “Larryville” stomping grounds.
Hitting town, I was happy, excited, and everything felt right. I went right to work on my plan. I always wanted to be king of something and all I kept thinking is maybe I’ll be the “Pierogie King”, a title and kingdom of my own for once. I finally realized that, after all, I wasn’t a suit and tie kind of guy but a Pieroguy.
I spent the first 18 years of my life in the small southern town of Victoria, Texas. Living there only because of work, I was the youngest child in a family of Kansas immigrants. Spending every summer and Christmas visiting relatives across the state of Kansas instilled a sense of love for the area in me, and when my family decided to move to the East coast, I decided to try my hand at life in Kansas.
I moved to Lawrence in 2001 and enrolled in the University of Kansas, the alma mater of both of my parents. Five years of great times, interesting classes and fantastic memories later, I graduated with a degree in psychology, but really no idea what career I wanted to pursue. It was then that I traveled east to Philadelphia for a visit with my parents, and a revelation struck me which changed my entire plans for the future.
While watching a KU football game with the local alumni association at a popular area sports bar, I was struck by the frequent ordering of a very curious sounding item: pierogies. Having never ever heard of these things, I asked the waitress to explain. Needless to say, after her explanation and three plates of the delicious dumplings I was hooked.
A few days later, meeting with a friend I had met in the dormitories, we began to discuss businesses that might be successful in Lawrence, where he was about to return after a stint in the military. Almost immediately after our platter of pierogies arrived, we were both struck instantaneously with the exact same idea.
Since we both lived in Lawrence for several years, and both loved good food, we decided to bring pierogies for the first time to the heart of the Midwest. As frequent visitors to the Lawrence night scene, we were both struck by the lack of variety when it came to late-night foods. Using the prevalence of pierogies on the East coast as a model, we hope to make them a culinary delicacy here as well, making them available to everyone, not just bar patrons.
Though pierogies are well known as a late-night social food, they are a very traditional staple food of many cultures and can be used in the creation of a wide variety of meals.
Basically, after all the years of school and work, we have decided that we are not suit and tie kind of guys. We are chef hats and aprons kind of guys. Pieroguys.