By Traci Chapman
The sign at Vladislava’s Czech Bakery & Café says “vitame vas” – welcome – to all who enter, and it’s not only a greeting for her business but a way of life for the Czech Republic native.
Vladislava Polaskova – also known as Lori – and her partner Devin Tenney officially opened the Main Street bakery and café Sept. 17. It was the culmination of a journey that began in 1999, when Polaskova emigrated to the United States from Czechoslovakia with a dream to keep her heritage and love of her native country alive while forging a life in her new, adopted home.
“With the Yukon Czech Festival, we were amazed to see the outpouring of support and excitement that one day – but there wasn’t a restaurant or bakery that offered authentic Czech items every other day of the year, and we thought that was something that people would respond to,” Tenney said.
That belief initially led to a small catering business and the “Czech Delights” food truck the pair ran for a few years. While looking for a new project and a permanent home for the restaurant, the novel coronavirus pandemic put many restaurants in peril – and Polaskova’s bakery dreams on hold for a time.
That time was well-spent, however. Polaskova became an American citizen, something she talks about with pride.
“It was important to me to do this, and it’s important for me to share Czech heritage and culture, to share food that is prepared with love and care and that makes people happy,” she said.
FAVORITE CZECH PASTRY
Vladislava’s bakery is centered around kolaches, the traditional round baked item that features a sweet center – a variety of fruits, cream or Nutella’ strudel and crepes are also a specialty. Café items range from klobasa – sausage – sandwiches and meals, schnitzel, open faced sandwiches and more.
“We want to keep the menu fairly small, especially as we open, to see what people would like to have, what they enjoy,” Tenney said. “Our main focus is to do everything with love and to make the most delicious items we can, rather than trying to feature a huge menu that might not reflect what we want Vladislava’s to be all about.”
Vladislava’s Bakery & Café is located at 422 W. Main Street in Yukon. The business will be open during Yukon’s Czech Festival; tentative regular hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. More information can also be found on Vladislava’s website, located at https://czechbakeryokc.com, or on Facebook by searching for “Vladislava’s Czech Bakery & Café.”
“We are so excited to have this opportunity to be part of the Yukon community and for me to share my heart and my Czech culture through my food with everyone,” Polaskova said.