In the chill of an early March morning, people will begin standing in line outside Kiedrowski's Bakery well before sunrise.
They come for the paczki.
The Amherst bakery 15 minutes away from Avon Lake is known for the traditional Polish doughnuts, which are a Mardi Gras tradition as good Catholics try to use up the last of the fat, sugars and other sweets before the austerity of Lent begins the next day on Ash Wednesday.
Paczki (pronounced "POONCH-kee) are a little different than plain jelly doughnuts, owner Tim Kiedrowski said. He uses his mother's recipe, which has cream cheese and sour cream in the dough as well as butter.
Unlike many bakeries, who put Bavarian-style custards or ultra-sweet jellies in their paczki, Kiedrowski keeps it old school. He only serves the traditional paczki fillings of prune, apricot, poppyseed and rose petal jams, and the plain unfilled paczki rolled in granulated sugar.
If you eat a rose paczki and find a rose petal in your jam, he said, that's a sign of good luck.
This is an insanely busy time for the bakery, between filling orders for paczki and keeping the cases in front filled. Their children come home to help out, and bring their friends. Former Kiedrowski employees also show up.
"This is what we did when we were kids," Mark Kiedrowski, who came in from his home outside Salt Lake City, said. "It's fun to be back here with everyone."
His former co-worker in Utah, John Balaconis, came from Albuquerque to help out.
"It's just a lot of fun," he said.
The Kiedrowskis opened the bakery at 4 a.m. Tuesday. The line usually starts getting long around 5:30 a.m., and will stay long for the next 12 to 13 hours. An accordian player playing traditional polka tunes will help keep the mood festive.