Mama Valentina (or just Tina) has loved to cook her whole life. She was always there when her Mama and Papa cooked up delicious meals for their four girls, and on special occasions, for the huge community that they were actively a part of.
Tina was born in Ukraine but grew up in Estonia. She was the youngest of four girls. In 1977, Valentina fell in love and married her Husband of 38 years, Mircha. She had always desired to have a big family and lots of kids that she could share her life with. So as years went by, she had 16 children that she loved unconditionally. She made homemade meals that the family could enjoy every night together. With the talent her parents passed down to her and the practice that she got from cooking for an enormous family everyday, she had become quite an adept culinarian.
In 1997, Valentina and her husband moved their family to the United States in hopes of a promising future and a better life for their children. It was probably the hardest thing that they had done in their life… new people, new place, and new language, but they did it all for their kids. In just a few short years, their new community noticed Tina’s talent when it came to cooking. She was soon invited to cater weddings and major events. People loved her homemade cooking and they kept asking for more. Especially, everyone loved her homemade pelmeni (a traditional Ukrainian stuffed pasta, similar to ravioli), and suggested that she make them to sell to her family and friends.
In 2008, Valentina moved to Jacksonville, Florida with her family. She began looking into ways to open a pelmeni company so she could offer people the great product that so many people had come to enjoy.
As the years flew by, lots of things changed. It wasn’t as easy to sit down and enjoy a homemade meal with the family anymore. Kids moved out, grandchildren were born. Valentina was concerned that it was so hard to find time to be with family nowadays, and even harder to find something natural in the stores. She had her heart set on making a great homemade product that was easy and quick to cook up for every family so they could spend more time together around the table enjoying a healthy, natural meal.
Tina knew what she had to do, so she rolled up her sleeves, and got to work. And the rest, as they say, is history. We hope you enjoy our homemade pelmeni as much as we enjoy preparing them for you. Bring a taste of the old country home to YOUR dinner table with Pastina Kitchen authentic pelmeni!