KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ukrainian-American Vlad Polishchuk is serving a slice of his homeland in Overland Park.
“When you walk through the doors, it’s hard to really describe in words,” Polishchuk said. “It’s like I’m kind of sort of home.”
His European Market Café was created to foster a safe space that feels like a home away from home as the Ukrainian community in Kansas City continues to rally around one another as war rages on in Eastern Europe.
Polishchuk moved to the KC area nearly two decades ago.
With the market, he is now able to share his culture while helping others in the metro who have recently made the same move.
“We wanted to have, kind of offer them a first opportunity to get employed in the United States so they can start building that job history, credit history, all of those different things," he said.
Polishchuk still has family in Kyiv, which has been at the center of many attacks from Russia. So as conflict in Israel and Palestine continues, he said he understands how those with ties to the area feel.
“I can personally relate to what the people are going through over there. I am hoping it is going to end as soon as possible," Polishchuk said. "The cost of war, it’s tremendous and it takes a personal toll on everybody.”
Already offering items such as daily-baked bread, cheeses, meats, dairy staples, a small Kosher section, pastries and coffee, the kitchen is set to open in a few weeks.
Offering dishes from across Europe, Polishchuk said all are welcome.
“This is the gathering place for them to kind of [say,] ‘How are you doing? I haven’t seen you in a few years. How are you doing?' And let’s have a conversation," Polishchuk said.
European Market Café is located at 11170 Antioch Road, Overland Park, Kansas, 66210.
More information about the cafe can be found HERE.