The coolers, freezers, shelves and pallets in Russki Foodski Wholesale Foods, Inc., at 625 Selkirk Ave., hold a plethora of food products from Russia, Ukraine, Israel, and other countries.
Bourekas (a frozen pastry with feta cheese or other fillings), cartons of Kafir (a drinkable yogurt), frozen loaves of Borodinsky bread, spicy coiled salamis, Israeli sunflower seeds, large glass jars of pickled tomatoes, tins of Israeli pickled cucumbers, expensive tins of sturgeon caviar, packages of roasted buckwheat, boxes of Russian chocolates, and much more are among the items being sold.
"Their exotic food (from Eastern Europe) is not readily available elsewhere in Winnipeg," said customer George Duravetz, a resident of West Kildonan who, along with wife Olga, was shopping in the store’s crowded confines one Saturday afternoon.
"The prices are reasonable too."
Owner Evgeni Morduhovich, 34, says he started his business, which had its grand opening in mid-December 2012, because the prices for such ethnic foods in other local outlets were too high.
"There’s a place for a wholesaler in Winnipeg that sells this type of food," said Morduhovich, who was born in Leningrad, (now St. Petersburg) Russia, but moved to Israel with his family at age 11 and then to Winnipeg in 2006.
He added that he is already planning to move to a larger location in the North End because the 600-square feet of space in his current building is just not large enough to display all the goods he has stored elsewhere.
Morduhovich began his working career here as a long distance trucker — a profession he learned during a trip to Toronto in 2004.
During his trips to larger cities, such as Toronto, New York, Vancouver and Chicago, Morduhovich observed that he would (as other truckers sometimes did) bring back smaller quantities of ethnic food items for himself or his friends.
"So I thought there is a place for this type of business in Winnipeg," he said.
Morduhovich, who speaks four languages, gets his products from distributors in Toronto, Vancouver and New York City.
"They are already imported to those cities where there are big Russian and Ukrainian populations," he said.
Since his shop is presently open only on weekends, Morduhovich — whose wife, Vanessa — is his business partner, also runs Buffalo Driver Training, a commercial truck-driving school.
For further info on Russki Foodski call 204-558-5999 or 204-979-0071, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Martin Zeilig is a community correspondent for the North End. You can contact him at email@example.com.