We created Oksana’s Kitchen in 2014 with a goal to bring good quality food to all who wanted them.
We found that many people are time poor and didn’t have the time to spend in the kitchen making things from scratch yet alone sauces. We knew in ourselves that the commercially available sauces are full of sugar and preservatives. So, we decided to move forward with a range of sauces that where just real food, free from all the additives and nasties found in supermarket varieties.
The original plan was to attend farmers markets and market stalls to sell our range. However, a chance meeting with the owners of a restaurant during dinner changed all of this.
It was March 2015, it was decided a sample of our sauces would be delivered the next morning. The monday during a conversation with the restaurant owner we where told, “What can I say. I love your sauces when can I have them”. By the end of that week our sauces had found their first retailer.
By the end of 2015, we had developed the range a little further by adding a selection of Salsa’s to the Oksana’s Kitchen brand. This period also saw the addition of our range to 10 IGA stores as well as a couple others, increasing our retailer base to 13.
The first half of 2016 saw some growth insales, however the big change came after attedning the Gluten Free Expo in Brisbane that May. This was a turning point that brought some major life changing decisions to be made.
On completion of the Gluten Free Expo, we decied we needed to take Oksana’s Kitchen out of home and give her a real home hence the decision to sell the family home to free up the finances to allow the opening of a factory.
The second half of 2016 saw the establishment of a factory and all the neccessary equipment ordered. With the equipment arriving just before Christmas bringing to an end 2016.
2017 saw the start of a New Year and a new direction with many lessons to learn. Oksana’s Kitchen had left home and was making her own road within the big wide world.
We have finalised the Oksana’s Kitchen fundraising program which will see us being able to support many groups and organisations with our great quality, even better tasting sauces while helping with much needed fundraising.
We are excited with what the future is bringing and the direction we are heading. We welcome you all to come and become part of our growing family.
Paul & Vanessa Chapman.
Oksana was born in Poland in January 1915 in the small town of Milicin Nowy and was one of three children born to Karol and Anna Antoneic. Oksana trained as a seamstress just prior to the start of World War II, when Adolf Hitler invaded Poland during September of 1939.
Sadly, not much is known about what happened during this time, one can only speculate on the horrors and heartbrek that Oksana would have experienced. From what is known the Antoneic family were persecuted and separated from each other either due to their political stance or for their military background. One thing is for certain is the horrors Oksana lived through during this time was something she did not wish to discuss and we may never know the full story of her early years.
But there was some light during this time with the Allies helping to support a war-torn Poland. Oksana was placed into a Displaced Persons Camp in Kassell, Germany with her husband Waclaw Jaceiwicz and here they welcomed their first son.
It was while at Kassell, the family sought immigration to either Canada, United States or Australia. Eventually, they were granted passage to Australia and departed from Naples, Italy on board the “Anna Salen” on the 22 May 1949.
Life was difficult for Oksana and her family when they arrived in Australia, apart from not knowing the language, the weather and the peaceful environment they found themselves in would have been quite foreign. And yet, Oksana embraced her new country with class and dignity.
Oksana’s passion for life and embracing all things new made her transition to Australia a little more manageable, but there were challenges. However it was the love for her family and knowing that Australia offered a better way of life for them all that pulled her through the tough times she faced.
To me Oksana, will always be my Nan, the person who loved me unconditionally, supported me, cooked my favourite foods, cared for me when i was ill, made me special clothes (without patterns of course!), and was always there for a hug when i needed it.
Oksana will forever hold a special place in my heart and the time we had together on earth was all too breif. But she lives on in spirit and is the heart of “Oksana’s Kitchen”, each bottle contains lots of love and we welcome you to our family!