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Ready to Cook brings its taste of Ukraine into Orchard Park Shopping Centre

Ready to Cook now in mall

Ready to Cook has already built a cozy home in The District shopping mall in downtown Kelowna.

Now it is spreading its deliciousness to another busy part of the city. The shop that has brought an authentic taste of Ukraine to Kelowna has launched a pop-up kiosk at Orchard Park Shopping Centre. It is also venturing into catering events, selling to restaurants and supporting large-scale fundraisers.

Tetiana Kopets fled the war in Ukraine with her family and ended up in the Okanagan, where she used her family savings to start up Ready to Cook to bring traditional Eastern European flavours to the valley. The pop-up kiosk is obviously much smaller than its home in The District, but technology allows customers to get an idea of just how fresh the food is. The kiosk has a live stream of the chefs hard at work back at The District.

“What people like about us is that they can see in our District location that everything is handmade right there,” Kopets says. “We feature an open kitchen, so they’re comfortable that it’s a clean, neat, professional environment with professional cooks.

"The food is prepared with the best quality ingredients sourced locally, like sour cherries from John Jobst farm in Oyama, and the produce from local farmers.

In a move sure to delight food enthusiasts, Ready to Cook offers free tastings at both locations. The most popular food is the perogies, along with cabbage rolls, but for tastings their easiest offerings are the pork and beef dumplings.

The dumplings embody the ethos of Ready to Cook. Sourced from whole, unprocessed meat—pork loin and pork belly for pork dumplings, and beef brisket for beef ones—these delicacies are seasoned simply with salt and black pepper. It’s this commitment to natural, high-quality ingredients that has won over its customers.

Ready to Cook also utilizes flash freezing technology, which means the water molecules do not freeze first. They freeze at the same time that the tissue in which they’re located, which ensures the texture of the food is preserved, maintaining its freshness and flavour.

Another cool aspect of Ready to Cook is it does not simply provide food you take home and throw in the microwave. It takes away the preparation time required to make food from scratch, but you still have to cook it properly to ensure your tastebuds have the absolute best time.

A good example is Ready to Cook’s borscht kits. Unlike instant meals, these kits invite the joy of cooking into homes without the prolonged preparation time. You bring water, broth or stock to boil, add the kit, and then cook it for 40 minutes.

“We don’t want to remove that sensation of cooking from people,” Kopets says. “We think that it's a really important part of creating that home atmosphere, especially right now with the weather.

“You want to come home, and you want the warmth coming from your kitchen, and at the same time you don’t feel like spending your whole evening cooking.”

Beyond the culinary delights, Ready to Cook is a story of resilience and community. Fleeing the war in Ukraine, Kopets and her family never imagined they would build a new life in Canada.

“Nowadays the kids wake up to their alarm clock—not bombs or missile attacks or to air raid alarms,” she says.

The venture is also more than a business; it's a social mission providing meaningful and fulfilling jobs to newcomers. Ready to Cook’s head chef, Olena Romanova, is a talented cook from Enerhodar, where Russia assumed control of the world’s largest nuclear power plant.

“She’s got no home,” Kopets says. “She’s got no place to go, but she just happened to be a talented chef.”

In every dumpling, perogy, and borscht kit, Ready to Cook offers not just a meal, but a story of hope, resilience, and the comforting taste of home.

More information about Ready to Cook can be found on its website here. There are also plenty of instructional videos and other neat features on Ready to Cook's Instagram and Facebook pages.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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