Meet Oksana Lusnikova, the owner of Pie Style in Auburn, WA. Oksana’s bakery may be small, but the tastes inside are mighty. Originally from Crimea, she makes pies, piroshkis, and pastries from her childhood, and kneads her dough by hand — as she learned from her grandmother.
Get to know more about Oksana and Pie Style in this week’s Business Spotlight Q&A.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What’s your favorite part about the neighborhood/community your business is in and why?
Two years ago, when I opened this business the help from the City Hall was colossal. … People, despite the virus, came and supported me. I wanted to work for them in the same way and bring a little good mood with my pastries. With my mood, we worked. We did not close in a pandemic, and this was our [way to] return [the] support from people. While studying English at Green River College, the teachers taught me about Americans and the people of Seattle. I understood what I want to do in America, and how I want to be useful here. I love people in Auburn! Low bow to you.
Why is it important to you and your business that people #SpendLikeItMatters?
I believe that small businesses are people who do not want to earn big money, but to bring joy and support to people. When I bought [my] oven, the chef from this company came to me to help set up the oven for work. He said to me, “Well, congratulations, now you are in the restaurant business where there are many hours of work and a lack of money.” For food to be natural, tasty, and made with love you have to pay for it, just like we pay for any other service. For example, the services of a doctor are not cheap but if we eat right then we will visit the doctor less often. We are what we eat.
As a business owner, what’s the strangest or craziest idea you’ve ever tried?
I work 13-16 hours a day and my husband says I’m crazy. As long as I have the strength and life, I will do the possible and the impossible. I will sleep later. I learn a lot every day. Different people come and we communicate. We study each other’s traditions. I am also proud that I am Ukrainian and I can bring our Ukrainian traditions here and support Ukraine in these war days.