Our Story

The Kaleenka Piroshky was founded by Lydia Barrett in 1974 in downtown Seattle on 1st Avenue and Virginia. She used her love of cooking, Ukrainian heritage, and unparalleled hospitality to build the Kaleenka to spread the Ukranian and Russian cultures throughout Washington. Alongside introducing Seattle to this new cuisine, she made hundreds of Eastern Europeans feel at home in her quaint, yet elegant restaurant.

 

As Seattle's love of piroshky grew, Lydia started a traveling booth that served her most popular dishes at local fairs and festivals in Washington State. Now, the Kaleenka has proudly been a tradition at Seattle-area fairs for almost two decades.

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In 2002, Lydia retired and closed the restaurant, but continued to serve her many loyal guests with the mobile food booth all summer long. Lydia passed away in 2007, and now her youngest son, Steven, continues to honor her dream by introducing Russian and Ukrainian culture to thousands of people each year at festivals all across Washington. You can often find Steven working hard alongside his three children in the booth! We still use all of Lydia's original recipes that have been passed down three generations.

Lydia Venichenko Barrett

1931-2007

Lydia was born near Odessa to a German mother and a Ukrainian father. Following World War II, her family emigrated to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. This is where she met and married James Barrett. They eventually moved to Redmond, Washington and raised their 4 children, where they lived until she passed away at the age of 76.