Saying goodbye to Kelowna’s perogy king | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

Saying goodbye to Kelowna’s perogy king

Cecil Warwaruk, the founder of Cecil's Perogies on Richter Street in Kelowna, passed away on Thanksgiving Day, Oct. 10, 2016 at the age of 62.
Image Credit: Contributed

KELOWNA – Whether you knew him from the slopes of Big White or his restaurant in downtown Kelowna, you never forgot the first time you tried Cecil’s perogies.

Cecil Warwaruk moved to Kelowna from Edmonton in the early 90’s. A carpenter by trade, he didn’t get into the restaurant business until he was served a plate of unsatisfactory perogies at a local pub.

“His mom was a good cook so he learned to make perogies from her,” Warwaruk’s daughter Cari-Lynn Yaige says. “It basically all started as a bet.”

Cecil’s Perogies got its start in the aisles of local grocery stores. He would give away free samples and talk to people about his goal to open a restaurant that serves authentic Ukrainian food. In 1993 Cecil’s Perogies opened to the public.

“When the train would come by it would shake the building but customers didn’t care,” Yaige says. “It just kept getting bigger and bigger. There would be lines out the door and people would take their orders to go because there was no place to sit.”

Image Credit: Trip Advisor

Cecil Warwaruk died of natural causes on Thanksgiving Day on Oct. 10. He was 62.

He leaves behind his wife Darlene, who will continue running the restaurant, two grown children, five grandchildren and hundreds of customers grateful they knew him.

“There was a guy who didn’t have much who was pulling weeds outside my Dad’s first restaurant. He fed him and the guy came back and my Dad hired him. He ended up working for him for seven years,” Yaige says. “That was my Dad. He’d give you the shirt off his back and do without.”

Image Credit: Trip Advisor

Since opening, Cecil’s has become a local favourite for its reliable quality and authentic menu. But it was the man at the stove who made each visit so special.

“He was kind of a social butterfly in the restaurant,” Yaige says. “He was very outgoing, very charming and he would talk to all the customers. You could tell him anything and he’d never tell anyone. He'll be missed.”

Yaige says Cecil's wife Darlene is doing as well as can be expected but plans to carry on her husbands legacy.

"She's got a restaurant to run," she says. 

The family of Cecil Warwaruk asks customers to share their memories in the comments section below.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2016

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