Retro Dough 800pxThe Hazleton Kitchen Incubator welcomes its newest client, Retro Dough: Pierogi and Specialty Foods LLC. Founded by John Carsia, his wife Alyssa, and his sister-in-law Celena, Retro Dough stands out in the area by bringing a nostalgic flair to the culinary scene, celebrating timeless flavors and community gatherings.

For John Carsia, a Hazle Township native, entrepreneurship has always been a dream, and opening a food business seemed like the perfect opportunity. "Ever since I was young, I can't help but 'pretend' whenever I am in the kitchen that I am running a bustling food establishment," he shares. With Retro Dough, this childhood dream became a reality, blending culinary creativity with cherished family values.

Retro Dough officially launched in July 2023. Its mission is to recreate nostalgic food items that evoke cherished moments around the dinner table. Dubbing itself a small event cater with a nostalgic vibe, Retro Dough draws inspiration from a shared family tradition of making pierogis. In addition to these beloved dumplings, its other specialty is Italian Cookies.

Carsia acknowledges that the path to success in the food industry is challenging. "Being our first venture into commercial foods, there is no shortage of compliance and administrative work required before you can open your doors," he admits. However, these challenges were made easier with the help of CAN DO and the collaborative environment fostered by the Hazleton Art League and other THInC (The Hazleton Innovation Collaborative) members.

"I heard about the Incubator from a fellow tenant, who also started their local operation through the Hazleton Kitchen Incubator," said Carsia. Through this dialogue, he learned about the great benefits and flexibilities the Incubator can provide to new business owners with limited resources. “This opportunity, simply put, really is a great enabler for entrepreneurs and the reason why we are able to bring our passion for cooking and baking to broader communities.”

Carsia acknowledges the pivotal role played by individuals like Nico Makuta, CAN DO's Business Finance Specialist. "Nico was with us end-to-end," he says, expressing gratitude for the guidance provided throughout their entrepreneurial journey.

Looking ahead, Retro Dough hopes to continue to grow. The Carsias plans to expand their retail offerings and launch a food truck packed with nostalgia within the near future. For more information about Retro Dough: Pierogi and Specialty Foods LLC and their culinary offerings, you can currently find them on Facebook and Instagram. Stay tuned for updates on their retail expansion and food truck launch.

For inquiries about the Hazleton Kitchen Incubator and support for aspiring food entrepreneurs, contact Nico Makuta at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit