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'It's tough:' Polish Fest vendors are dealing with spike in prices

Posted at 4:53 PM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 18:19:20-04

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee is home to America's largest Polish festival, and it's back at Summerfest grounds after a two-year hiatus.

From music to food, there is a plethora of things to do.

Klaud Wiosna is the owner of Tata's Pierogi and made the hour and half drive from Illinois to serve his famous Pierogi.

Pierogi is a dumpling that can be filled with meat or cheese.

"We make them all in-house, everything is natural ingredients," Wiosna said.

Polish Fest returns to Summerfest

He said since the pandemic, it's been difficult to keep up with the spike in prices, with polish's up nearly 50%.

"We used to sell polish plates for $10, now we have to sell them for $15 not because we want to get more profit, but because everything costs more," Wiosna said.

And he's not the only one.

Craig Geml owns Polish Pride of Michigan and told us shipping items from Poland is so expensive, it's impacting what he can sell.

"We've had to cut some items that we normally would carry because of the cost," Geml said.

For items in stock, it's priced nearly 10% higher than two years ago. Still as a small business owner he said he's taking the brunt of it, so his customers don't.

"You can't price customers out," Geml stated. "This is my business. If I don't have customers, I don't survive."

The festival goes on until Sunday and tickets range from $2 to $15.

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