New Pasco bakery offers Moldovan treats

By Loretto J. Hulse, Tri-City HeraldApril 29, 2014 

Open the door of Aliona's Euro-Bake and immediately you know you're not in a traditional American bakery.

There are over-stuffed leather chairs and a sofa flanking a gas fireplace where you can sit and enjoy your pastries or a bowl of borscht.

"We want people to feel they can come in, sit for a while and relax," Igor Kutsiy said.

He and his wife, Aliona, opened the bakery a month ago at 4525 Road 68 in Pasco and are already seeing repeat customers.

Linda Fleming of Pasco is one. She stopped in Tuesday morning for coffee and one of her new favorites, a cheese filled savory roll called a piroshky.

"It's nice to have someplace that's really different from any other in the Tri-Cities," Fleming said.

The piroshky, filled with a mixture of chicken and pork, and the Moldovan rolls, filled with cabbage, potato or three cheeses, are Igor's contribution to the menu. He also makes a mushroom noodle soup and the borscht.

Aliona turns out the exquisite desserts with help from her sister, Tatiana Negru of Kennewick.

The Kutsiys were both born in Beltsy, one of the larger cities in Moldova, a small country tucked between Ukraine and Romania.

Aliona immigrated to the United States with her family when she was 13; Igor when he was nine.

Igor moved with family to the Tri-Cities in 1998. He met Aliona in Tacoma and they were married in the Tri-Cities, where they have relatives, in 2009.

Aliona has always been the one who family and friends turned to for birthday and wedding cakes.

"Our traditional cakes, like spartak, you can't find at an American bakery," she said.

Spartak, the best-selling item at Aliona's Euro-Bake, is a multi-layered confection of thin, crisply baked cake layers, each separated with a vanilla cream filling and all covered with chocolate. A full cake sells for $35.

"Weekends, we can go through 10, 12 of them," she said.

Aliona said some of her recipes have been passed down through the family. Others are popular Moldovan desserts, the treats she and Igor grew up eating.

"They're mostly traditional, but I can't help myself; I always have to change or add something to a recipe," she said.

"I also like to make up my own recipes. Four or five times a week I'll try something new. If our customers like it, I keep the recipe. If not, I come up with something different to try," she said.

She also makes a variety of breads and several flour-free desserts -- including cheesecake cupcakes made with an almond flour crust and French macaroons.

"We do use flour in the kitchen, so a better term than gluten-free might be gluten friendly," Igor said.

Aliona and her sister bake every day, sometimes enlisting Igor's help. Everything at Aliona's Euro-Bake is made from scratch.

Aliona also creates tiered wedding cakes and apple and cherry pies. They also take special orders for breads and desserts.

Aliona's Euro-Bake is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday-Saturday. The phone number is 492-0740.

They're also on Facebook. "We try to post something every day," she said.

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