Photo by Daniel Warn: Anatoliy and Zaika, left. and regular customer Asa Brown enjoy a morning in the bakery.
Photo by Daniel Warn: Anatoliy and Zaika, left. and regular customer Asa Brown enjoy a morning in the bakery.

The Zaika family moved to the United States from overseas 15 years ago to find more economic opportunity, originating from the Ukraine.

Now, having lived in Ashford for three years, the family has owned and operated the Paradise Village Hotel and Restaurant for the last two.

The company boasts 12 rooms near Mount Rainier National Park for rent, a bakery and restaurant. 

Anatoliy Zaika, owner of the establishment, said that its restaurant hopes to serve comfort food from all over the world.

"We have a special, more European menu that is mixed with American food," he said. "Our aim is that any people from any country can find something that sounds good and looks good."

One of Zaika's favorite menu items is a Ukrainian spin on a famous Italian dish: Alfredo pasta, with salmon and gnocchi.

He said he's worn several hats over the years, but this is the one that fits now.

"There are a lot of tourists here, so we found this place two years ago and it was reasonably priced," he said. "In my own life, I like new things. I've had other businesses — construction, wholesale bakery, grocery store — but right now, it's the restaurant and hotel business."

Mariya Zaika, Anatoliy Zaika's wife, runs the business' bakery, which offers all sorts of Ukrainian sweets from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

While the business seems most of its customers during the summer's peak tourist season, the place is open year-round to locals and visitors alike.

Asa Brown, one of the bakery's regulars, has been frequenting the business for about a year. While he often shares his entrées with his Mount Rainier coworkers, if they're lucky, he said he is never disappointed by the place's signature crepes.

"I was just down doing a job off the mountain and a friend said I should come (to Paradise Village Hotel and Restaurant) and try the crepes," he said. "I usually get the salmon crepe, the blueberry crepe, and order bacon and eggs and coffee."

Brown said he — like Anatoliy Zaika  — enjoys the salmon as a dinner entree, but is known to order two or three other plates, just to not miss out.

Additionally, Brown said the businesses' decor is top-notch.

"In the bakery, I like the openness, the decor," he said. "It's modern, but it's classic. You've got wood tones, you have beautiful colors. You've got nice big countertops. You don't see those anymore. Usually, you've got these thin, plastic tabletops. These are sturdy tables."

As for the hotel, check-in time is from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., while check out is at 11 a.m. each day.