The cold temperatures of late may have dissuaded many budding entrepreneurs from opening their doors for business. Not Jennifer Cheezum. This dumpling-obsessed Cleveland native has been selling her frozen pierogi—filled with everything from the traditional potatoes and sauerkraut to more idiosyncratic ingredients such as pepperoni, pumpkin, and blueberries—at northside farmers markets since 2009. On Friday, after a series of soft-opening dates and pre-launch events, she made it official, opening her first storefront location of Pierogi in a Pinch (103 E. State St., Pendleton, 765-432-5424, pierogiinapinch.com) in the heart of historic Pendleton. While Cheezum herself lives in Fishers, she fell in love with the quaint blocks of antiques stores and specialty shops in the nearby town and knew it was where she wanted to open her business. Will she still sell her pierogi at the farmers markets? Cheezum says she’s still mulling that over, as the new business is definitely keeping her busy.
Fans who would have been taking her dumplings home for dinner for almost five years can still buy them by the dozen—or join the “Pierogi of the Month Club” and receive different innovative flavors every month. Cheezum’s pierogi are also available at the recently opened R2GO (1101 N. College Ave., 737-2543, r2goindy.com), and she hopes to expand into other specialty markets. But now customers can let Cheezum do the cooking and sink their forks into steaming plates of pierogi like the ones she ate with her Czech-American family when she was growing up in Cleveland, served with potato pancakes and sauerkraut or applesauce. A plate of nostalgia never tasted so good.