Anastasiia Chystiukhin and her husband Anton were a little nervous before last Saturday. The Ukrainian couple’s bakery was about to open for the first time, and they didn’t know what to expect. Would an American audience take to the bakery style from their homeland, which is much less sweet and of different varieties than those American bakeries are known for?
The couple had only left Ukraine for America in 2022. They lived in a city near the border with Russia, and once the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine began, they quickly needed to get out. First they moved to the western side of the country, then eventually made their way to the United States.
Now they were about to open a bakery they’d spent seven months working on and putting together. They wondered what to expect that first day.
It turns out, the only thing they needed to worry about was having enough stock on hand. With lines out the door starting well before the store opened, the new Just Right: Cakes, Coffee, Gifts at 119 Scott Street between Limerick’s and Amaximo Real Estate sold out long before their intended closing time of 5 pm that day.
“We never thought that so many people would support us,” Anton says. Lines formed outside the store at around 9 am, well before the 10 am open time. Anastasiia worried that people might get a little irritated waiting in line for so long but everyone was patient and kind, she told City Pages.
It wasn’t just Saturday. So far the bakery has sold out every day since it opened. On an early Monday afternoon, the bakery’s shelves were empty of their treats.
The couple is new to the bakery business, but not new to business, Anton explains. In the Ukraine they ran a business creating custom gift boxes for children and adults. But when they came to America, Anastasiia told Anton that she’d always wanted to open a bakery and coffee shop. And when they met another Ukrainian girl who agreed to bake for them, the plan came together.
Ukrainian desserts are a bit different than America’s, though. Anastasiia says she was initially surprised when trying an American dessert for the first time because it tasted so sweet. Like much of Europe and even in parts of Asian, desserts often focus more on flavor and less on sweetness. Anyone who’s tried the chocolates from The Chocolate Shop knows the difference too.
In fact, the Chocolate Shop might have been a proving grounds for desserts that are less sweet, as the Dutch chocolates from that shop have been very popular so far.
The menu includes the familiar as well as exotic: Honeycakes, Pavlova and French mouse join gingerbread cookies and cheesecakes. They sell full cakes and also coffee as well.
Anton said they wanted to be careful not to make too much in the beginning so extra desserts wouldn’t go to waste. Instead, he’s now thinking they will probably have to start making a little more.
The couple, who are now happy to call Wausau home with their young son, say they’re really happy with the support they’ve received, from their host family to all the friends they’ve met and the people who have supported the bakery.
“I can just add that I think the Wausau people, they’re really the most perfect people in the world,” Anastasiia says. “We met so many nice people and everything we built, it couldn’t have happened if the people we met didn’t help.”
Just Right is open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, and 10 am to 2 pm Saturday and Sunday. It’s recommended you arrive early because they have been selling out quickly.