Friday January 25, 2013

PITTSFIELD -- The dining choices in Pittsfield include Malaysian, Mexican, Colombian, Greek, Indian, Japanese, and Chinese cuisine. There are also British and Brazilian grocery stores.

Now there’s a new addition to this rich multicultural mosaic -- an Eastern European delicatessen.

Maria’s European Delights Deli recently moved from Great Barrington to Pittsfield, where it re-opened this week in a storefront located in the Shipton Building at 146 North St.

Husband and wife owners Maria and Krzysztof "Kris" Sedowski sell Polish, German, Russian and Czech food products, ranging from 20 varieties of pierogi (a stuffed dumpling of Eastern European origin) to several kinds of kielbasa.

They also have black and red caviar, several varieties of fish, including whitefish and smoked trout, cheeses from all over Europe, Canadian bacon, and Greek salads.

"I call this nostalgia," Kris Sedowski said, referring to the items that he sells. "It’s for people who are still missing food from the old country."

The Sedowski’s opened their original deli in Great Barrington in December 2007, but decided to move to Pittsfield for economic reasons.

"In the beginning, it was really nice," Kris said. "But with the economy and the money crisis, business was lower than expectations."

The Great Barrington Maria’s was located on State Road near Great Barrington’s new fire station, an area that doesn’t receive a lot of foot traffic.


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North Street, on the other hand, has plenty of pedestrians. The deli also offers sandwiches now, a service it didn’t provide in South County.

"There are many offices" on North Street, Kris said. "People are looking for a different kind of lunch. There is already Malaysian, some Chinese, some Oriental, and some pizzas, but nothing European, especially kielbasa or cold cuts.

"There are so many people [in Pittsfield] from different countries," he said. "We had some Lithuanian customers looking to see what we have."

The Sadowskis, who live in Lee, closed their Great Barrington deli on Dec. 31, then spent three weeks setting up their Pittsfield store, which formerly housed a fitness facility, and before that, a record store. Kris said the couple spent about $10,000 on renovations before opening on Tuesday. Kris and Maria are currently the business’s only employees.

The store currently has one only one table for dining, but Sadowski said he eventually hopes to have five or six small tables that can seat "less than 20" patrons.

Both natives of Poland, the Sadowski’s came to the United States at different times -- Kris in 1979 and Maria in 1965. They lived in Brooklyn, N.Y., before moving to the Berkshires in 1986.

Before opening their deli, Maria worked as a secretary, while Kris was employed by the Neenah Paper Company at the Rising Mill in Great Barrington until it closed in 2006.

Opening a deli wasn’t a stretch for Kris after he lost his job because he had worked in an Italian delicatessen while living in Brooklyn. The Sadowskis believe their business can thrive in Pittsfield.

"I think so," Kris said, "I hope so. Especially because it’s a bigger city, and it’s multicultural."

To reach Tony Dobrowolski:
tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6224.