Having lived in Europe for many years, Galen and Irena Peak said they developed an appreciation for the region’s baked goods.

“We thought there would be a desire for that here too,” said Galen.

Galen and Irena Peak recently opened their own bakery in downtown Leavenworth.

Bakery Delicateza opened for business Nov. 15. The bakery is located at 510 S. 5th St. in Leavenworth.

“We’ve always had an interest in having our own bakery,” Galen said.

So they did just that on what Galen refers to as “Operation Shoestring.”

Galen and Irena Peak are both disabled veterans of the U.S. armed forces.

Irena was born and raised in the Czech Republic. She came to the United States in 2001 and earned a degree at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Soon after, she enlisted in the U.S. Army and served for four years in active duty and four years in the reserves. She reached the rank of sergeant. One of her duty posts was on Fort Leavenworth.

Galen was born and raised in northeast Pennsylvania. He comes from a military family and followed in their footsteps. Galen would spend six years as a machinist mate in the U.S. Navy.

“I wanted to see the world, which I did,” he said.

About eight years ago, Galen and Irena met on an online dating service, dated and subsequently got married.

One of their common interests was a bakery. They scouted numerous bakeries in the Kansas City and Lawrence area to get ideas before throwing their hats into the ring themselves.

One of the first things they did was develop a mission statement that is posted on a wall at their bakery.

“We take pride in all of our products being free of added preservatives, artificial flavors and artificial colors,” the statement says. “All of our flavors and colors are from natural sources. When we choose our ingredients, we look for only the most simple and pure products available.”

Irena says one of the specialities at their bakery is kolache.

“It’s a signature baked good in central Europe,” Irena said.

“Our prices are very reasonable and competitive,” said Galen, “especially considering the labor that goes into it.”

The bakery has been open just a short while, but Galen said it is attracting approximately 100 customers per day.

The bakery is open Wednesday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to noon.

For more information, call the bakery at 913-364-4940. Look for more information on the bakery’s Facebook page.