Tuesday may be Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras, but it’s also Paczki Day.  At Smurawa’s Country Bakery in Pulaski, customers were lining up as soon as doors opened at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning, and coming from all over Wisconsin, and as far as Michigan and Illinois to purchase paczki.

Smurawa’s has been selling paczki – Polish pastries filled with fruit jams, custards, or french cremes, and lightly rolled in sugar – for 19 years.  The flavors are diverse, and include blueberry, chocolate, red velvet, and many others.

“We have 17 different varieties, and I would say my favorite is the traditional raspberry,” says the bakery’s co-owner, Greg Smurawa. “Raspberry’s our best seller.”

Paczki Day is a busy day for Smurawa’s. In 2017, they sold over 36,000 of them.

“How many we make this year? I don’t know, we’ll see,” Greg says. “But it’s not about the number. It’s not about how many we do, or how many we sell.  It’s making sure that we do them right, making sure that the customers get the paczki they’re looking for, and making sure that everyone goes home with a Smurava’s Country Bakery paczki.”

Also as part of Paczki Day, the bakery is offering up a free paczki and a free cup of coffee to anyone who plays a tune on their antique accordion.

Smurawa’s expects to be open until 5 p.m. on Paczki Day, but may stay open later, depending on customer demand.