I love Kyj's. I've grown up on Kyj's. It's been awhile since I had anything from this wonderful Ukrainian Bakery, and the gap made me realize how wonderful their stuff is.
The url I'm adding to this post shows the old Chester store, which is till in operation. My great-grandmother (FOB from Poland) and grandmother, who lived in Chester until the early 80s, bought tons of baked goods from Kyj's. Ironically, I was well into adulthood before I realized that the folks who own and run Kyj's weren't Polish like us.
I don't buy any of the cookies, cakes, pies, donuts, etc. you can get at any commercial bakery. I'm sure it's all fine, but if anything, I avoid things like that. I go for the ethnic stuff.
What to buy: pierogies, bapka and cruschici. In that order: if you have to skip anything, dump the cookies. Pierogies are my top priority. Most everything is made in their main location in the old store in Chester. When I called there recently, I found they now make jalapeno-cheddar pierogies -- whoah. I suppose you could order that, but I stick with the potato, which is exquisite.
Where to go:
2702 West 3, Chester, PA 19013
23 Brookhaven Rd, Brookhaven, PA 19015
3372 Chichester Av, Aston, PA 19014
They also used to have a location in that big shopping center on Route 1/Baltimore Pike in Springfield -- the one with the faux Tudor architecture. Unfortunately, that location is now closed. Maybe we could talk them into opening a new store in Center City, or the Main Line? Until then, I'll be savoring my cheese bapka every chance I get.
Kyj's is still open? I'm from Chester. When my mom referred to it she called it "K.Y.J's". My dad though pronounced it like the word "pies". Getting their pastry was a treat back when. There was a doughnut shop "over town" that was great too. I forget the name though. Ann's maybe?
I almost cried when I found this picture and read your post. My Grandparents owned the house directly across the street from Kyj's. When I was a child, my Grandfather would take me there in the morning for doughnuts and pastries for breakfast. My Grandfather was polish and my Grandmother was Ukrainian. They both died in 1988 two-months apart and then the store-front homes were bought up. The landscape has changed so much but Kyj's still looks the same. I live almost three hours away now in Virignia and wish they had a way to order and ship on-line. I'd do anything to get my hands on their Babka again.
So cool! Glad you enjoyed it! (But how did I miss your post all this time?)
I have read about a place in Chicago in the advertising section of _Saveur_ magazine that ships pierogi and other Polish/Eastern European ethnic goodies... Maybe that would work out for you... not Kyj's, so no personal history, but they might be really delicious!