The origins of restaurant Ewa Zaprasza date back to the summer of 1987. Initially it was a small, seasonal bar serving primarily casseroles, pizza, grilled sausages, etc. In parallel with the bar, the parents ran a gardening business. The catering revenues allowed to invest more in gardening, which provided less and less profit. At the beginning, the bar had only three tables and was located entirely on our porch. Later on, we put in additional tables in the garden. After two years of activity, to protect ourselves from the vagaries of the weather, we built a small arbour containing four further tables, so in 1991 we already had space for thirty customers. Even though at the beginning we served mostly bar food, we paid particular attention to its quality. At the time when the country was flooded with frozen pizzas and quiches, Ewa Zaprasza offered only freshly prepared food.
The turning point in the history of the restaurant was the year 1993. In January a heating furnace, used to providing heat for the gardening business, broke down. The entire floriculture froze overnight (together with roots for the next year's crops) and we were destitute. After a family council, my parents decided to bet on gastronomy. The rooms previously occupied by them turned into a dining room and the restaurant became an all-year business. Most importantly, the rooms still retained their domestic nature, which has been emphasized by our customers and reviewers:
"When you come in, the first thing you want to do is ... to get rid of the feeling that you entered the owners' house by mistake. Two small rooms, a corner bookcase, an old typewriter, a few trinkets and a fireplace. "
At the beginning the restaurant based exclusively on family staff. In the first year, the entire staff consisted of close relatives - my parents - Ewa and Marcin, two sisters, Kaśka (fourteen at the time), Gośka (a year younger than her sister) and me - Łukasz (nine years old). In the following years, when there have been more customers, my cousin - Paweł Dmochowski and later Wojtek Knapiński- my future brother-in-law, joined our personnel. When family resources began to diminish, our friends, acquaintances and friends of friends started joining our staff. In 1995, Czarek and Hania joined the team. For the next 15 years, Czarek was the headwaiter. Initially, Hania worked at the kitchen sink, then prepared salads. However, the pace of her career development apparently did not suit her and so she decided to find a faster route. With the use of her charm she bewitched me and thus today is the chef and the co-owner of the restaurant. ;-)
Nevertheless, regular customers were more important than the staff. Initially, most of them were family and close friends. All this created a unique atmosphere of the restaurant as a place where everyone is respected, understood and much-loved. We all felt at home there, new customers quickly settled in and befriended the place. In the evening we sat around the fire with a beer and some sausages to sing and dance (there's nothing like integration with the customers;-).
Subsequent years brought increasing interest in the restaurant. The existing dining room had become too small so we extended it by adding another room and the family moved to a former garage. ;-) Then I had to sacrifice the rest of my room for the expansion of the bar facilities.
After each season, we spent a large part of the earned money on investments in kitchen facilities, so in spite of increasing the number of seats we were able to keep the efficiency of service. The menu began to contain more and more interesting dishes. Unfortunately, in order to introduce a novelty- always to the despair of some of our regular guests- something old had to be removed from the menu.
We always tried to arrange the menu so that it suited everybody. We have a separate menu for children (pancakes, chicken nuggets, spaghetti) and for vegetarians (including fried Camembert cheese with berries or a leek and goats' cheese tart). There are cheaper (e.g. chicken schnitzel) and more expensive dishes (roast beef filet English style or lamb ribs).
Our regular bestsellers certainly include roast beef English style, roast duck with apples, roast duck breast, pork knuckle, boletus soup and famous herring in mayonnaise - served as an amuse-bouche.
In 2001, together with my fiancée at the time, we decided to go to London for a year to peek at catering companies running there. Hania worked in a cafe and I worked in several restaurants and catering agencies. Upon our return, we invested the earned money in our little project - Ez Catering.
Initially we planned to deal mainly in small family events - as always life pretty quickly verified our plans. The very first event was a Christmas Eve celebration of the Polipack company and it was not little at all, because we prepared it for 60 people. What is interesting, since 2002 we have organized this event annually, this year for the thirteenth time.
The idea of a catering business was a hit. It let both us and the staff survive the off-season and invest in new technologies - the kitchen and the personnel were the same for the two companies. Catering began to form a growing part of the revenues to eventually become an equally important part of the family business as the restaurant. We worked more and more for bigger and more prestigious events. Our record when it comes to the size of an event, has been a picnic for the University of Gdansk prepared for 4500 people.
Along the way, there were several events that constituted milestones for the development of our business. When we organized Bal Kasztanowy in the Baltic Philharmonic in Gdańsk, which hosted 300 people, we had to use a combi steamer (borrowed at the time) for the first time. At the 5th anniversary of Lotos (600 people) we bought a brand new set of tableware and entered the world - it was the first event of such prestigious kind that we organised - thanks to the agency NewEvents from Gdynia which believed that a small, rural restaurant would be able to prepare such a complex and important event. Then there was a 5-day international virological conference for 500 people - in addition, it was in the middle of the high season - I think it has been our hardest (but also rewarding - our sincere thanks are available in the Reference section) job . In the meantime, we had a whole series of events for Eaton company in Tczew (1,500 guests) and other regular customers - Ford Euro-Car, the aforementioned Polipack, Nordea bank, Reuters, Microsoft, Polpharma, Trefl, Norwood, Invest Komfort and many, many others. In 2012, we had the pleasure of organizing catering outside the Polish borders and it was immediately at the Polish Embassy in Copenhagen (banquet for 300 people). Currently, we organize over 100 events per year, mostly for more than 50 participants.
A separate chapter is our cooperation with the Brickyard (Cegielnia) in Rzucewo - since 2009 we have prepared elegant and sophisticated weddings there - including weddings for celebrities (i.e. Dorota Szelągowska and Adam Sztaba). Our second regular place is a banquet hall BartArt in Gościcino (weddings and smaller events up to 100 people) - more in the Partners section.
In 2010, my parents decided to have some rest and handed the restaurant over to us, so consequently the restaurant and the catering company merged. Dad still works with us and my mum is limited to occasional yet valuable assistance due to health problems. Our aim was that the merger proceed as smoothly as possible and I think we did it - some of our customers did not even realize that names on our business cards changed. We hope that the introduced changes are well received by our guests, because we know that on the one hand, you cannot stand by and on the other hand we definitely do not want to be cut off from our roots.
At the moment, the restaurant permanently employs 6 people and a few extra seasonal workers. Hanna Dmochowska is the head chef and Katarzyna Dmochowska is the sous chef. The kitchen team includes also Magda Krzemińska and Magda Kropidłowska. The dining room is managed by Wojciech Labuda - assisted by a resilient team of waiters, including Arek, Paweł, Szymon and Maciek. All this under the watchful eye of my father - Marcin Dmochowski.
The year 2014 was extremely fruitful for our restaurant. We received an honourable mention - Best Of Award Of Excellence - two forks in the ranking Poland Best 100 Restaurants. For the whole year, we were in the top 6 of a national ranking TOP10 organised by an Internet portal gastronauci.pl, which was created basing on customer feedback from 25 000 restaurants in Poland (currently due to the acquisition of the portal by Zamato the ranking ceased to function). We also found ourselves in a prestigious international restaurant guide Gault & Millau - with 11 points and 1 cap. A beautiful summer made the season at the restaurant extremely busy and also the turnover in catering was a record. All this lets us look confidently to the future with hope for continuation of successes.
We strive to constantly learn and improve our kitchen. For your and our satisfaction.