British Columbia Sun

Eastern European businesses in BC feel the blow of the Russia-Ukraine war


Key takeaways: 

  • Russian-owned businesses in Vancouver state have got threats since the attack started.
  • The Russian Spoon bakery in downtown Vancouver has been the recipient of verbal menaces and harassment after the Russian attack of Ukraine, despite backing the Ukrainian cause. 

Businesses in BC affected by the Russia-Ukraine war: 

Several Eastern European businesses in British Columbia feel the hit of the battle in Ukraine as some consumers endanger those seen to back the Russian attack.

Armed war in Ukraine has now extended for almost a week, and the surge consequences from the conflict have reached businesses with connections to the province.

One of those businesses is Russian Spoon, a bakery at Vancouver’s Harbour Centre operated by Natalia Mitrofanova, a Canadian resident of Russian origin.

Mitrofanova’s store serves Eastern European food, and she tells her team comes from different nations in the province — including Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, and Russia.

And though she states “30 percent” of the food she serves is Ukrainian, and she publicly defends Ukraine amid the present attack, the store has got terrorizing calls from individuals due to her bakery’s name.

Also read: Vancouver businesses evacuated, SkyTrain station shut due to doubtful package

Russian spoons getting threat calls after its name

“It is now a tough time for Russian businesses. 

Because of these uncertainties around conflict with Russia, and our name is Russian Spoon … we have problems; we have phone calls when individuals say, ‘Please shut the business,'” she said.

“Some individuals swear … I will not hide. We don’t share with them. We can’t explain [to] somebody who begins a conversation, ‘Are you still open [and] abuse, swear, swear words,’ right?”

Russian Spoon now features artwork indicating they help Ukraine’s measures against the attack, and the bakery is granting some profits from sales to philanthropy efforts funding refugees.

And even though she has a command of loyal clients and safety to protect her bakery, Mitrofanova states she is worried things might escalate.

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