at the Green River College Foundation
From Napoleon Cake to Raspberry Mouse and everything in between, Pie Style Bakery in Auburn offers daily, delicious goodies that are beautiful and scrumptious. Did you know that this wonderful place is owned and operated by Green River alum, Oksana Lusnikova?
When Oksana and her family came to the United States from Ukraine, it was due to encouragement from her mother-in-law that she chose attend Green River to pursue English classes. She was balancing being a mom to two boys, a wife and a student. It was a lot at times, but she was determined to learn the English language.
Interacting in a diverse classroom was difficult at first - there were so many people from all over the world. None were speaking the same language, but all trying to learn the same language. Okasan says it was beautiful too. “We found other ways to communicate at first – with facial expressions and gestures.” The teachers were so supportive, and they would talk about anything – children were a common topic, as she and her instructor had sons both about the same age. “We learned the language and about the American culture at the same time.”
When graduation day came, Oksana was sad but relieved to be finished. She immediately went to work for a restaurant, but it was not a good fit. Drawing on her experience in Ukraine owning a restaurant and a grocery store with her family, she decided to open a bakery. “I was already making good food for my family. Why couldn’t I make this food for others?” She and her husband found the small space at 1111 East Main St. in Auburn, and she’s never looked back. She opened Pie Style just two and a half years after coming to the United States, during the pandemic.
Most of the recipes were all in her head from growing up watching her grandmother bake in Ukraine, but now she has recipes that she and her employees use daily. Their Facebook page Pie Style, features photos of what they are whipping up in the bakery daily.
When asked what advice she would give to students who are currently attending Green River, Oksana said, “If you have a dream follow it. Don’t stop even if you start thinking you can’t do it – you can!”