Enjoy the homemade goodness of a Sophie's Choice natural pierogi

Pierogi New 1217
Look for the new Sophie’s Natural Pierogi, Spaetzels and Dumplings packaging in early 2018 at your local grocer. It will feature an updated brand name and label design as well as new and improved freshness packaging.

By Ken McEntee

The fiasco is etched as deeply into our family lore as the broken leg lamp incident that will forever live on in the history of A Christmas Story’s Parker family.

An eager team of pierogi makers, including my wife, my mom and my son’s girlfriend, rolled up their sleeves, broke out the flour and rolling pin and slaved for hours at the kitchen table, cutting, folding and pressing seemingly enough potato- and cheese-filled dumplings to keep the families’ bellies filled through a long winter.

The reward for a night of hard work: The convenience of delicious pierogi, ready to heat and eat at the opening of a freezer.

At least that was the plan until one evening when my wife discovered somebody had unplugged the freezer, ruining the whole batch. The lesson learned: There is a much easier way to enjoy the comfort of freshly made natural pierogi.

“My mom’s natural, locally made pierogi have been a hit at area grocery stores for over 30 years,” says Diane Zebrowski, referring to her family’s popular Garfield Heights-made Sophie’s Choice Pierogi.

“People love them because the dough isn’t too thick, there is a good amount of filling and they are so tasty. And all you need to do is heat and eat.”

The famous comfort food delights are being re-branded as Sophie’s Natural Pierogi, and will soon be offered in advanced new packages that will keep them fresh for as long as 60 days.

“It’s been a long time since we changed the look of our packaging, and we want to be sure our customers know it’s still us,” Diane emphasizes. “We’re still here and we’re still making our own pierogi, using our old-time favorite family recipes.”

Old Packaging

The new-look packages—for both Sophie’s pierogi and for her natural spaetzel—are expected to be in stores like Heinen’s, Giant Eagle, Marc’s and Buehler’s during, or just after the holiday season. You’ll still recognize the familiar cartoon pierogi guy and dumpling lady on the label. But the package will be deeper and tightly sealed to ensure long-lasting freshness, Diane promises.

New Packaging

“Our pierogi are never frozen,” she says. “That’s one of the things that makes them so good. Our current packaging will keep them fresh in the refrigerator for about 14 days. But we’ve invested in the latest packaging technology to extend their freshness to two months without adding any nasty preservatives.”

The re-branding emphasizes the premium, all-natural ingredients that are still used to make Sophie’s pierogi, spaetzel and other products, Diane says.

“It’s what makes our products unique,” she insists. “Mom is very particular about our ingredients. We have no synthetic or GMO ingredients, and no high fructose corn syrup. It’s a very clean and healthy meal.”

And convenient as well.

All you need to do is toss the pierogi in a pan—if you microwave them, don’t let Diane find out—with butter and onions, serve with sour cream on the side, and you can be enjoying some old-fashioned comfort food in three to five minutes.

“They give you that warm fuzzy feeling when you eat them, especially during the winter,” Diane says. “It’s an ideal snack when the kids come home from school.”

Most supermarkets carry four types of Sophie’s Natural Pierogi: potato, potato cheddar, sweet cheese and sauerkraut—and don’t forget the spaetzels! If you want a larger selection—including some holiday specialties—you can visit the family’s Peter’s Market, right next to Sophie’s. You also can order them online at PolishEats.com.

Sophie’s pierogi shop isn’t open to the public, but Peter’s Market is. The store, featuring the “King of Kielbasa” and Sophie’s Natural Pierogi, is located at 4617 Turney Road, in Garfield Heights. The phone number is 216-341-5910. Order Sophie’s Natural Pierogi at PolishEats.com.

Categories: Eastside Food & Dining