KANSAS CITY, MO — Near the end of 2021, Kyiv, Ukraine-based Bakehouse bakery was bursting at the seams at its small production facility in the basement of Good Wine, a high-end food and wine shop located near the city center.

There, the bakery created premium baked goods such as artisan breads and pastries for restaurants and other wholesale customers as well as retail customers at Good Wine, which is also a sister company to Bakehouse, both owned by parent company Bureau of Wines.

“We grew from this business quite fast, and we decided to have our own brand and stand-alone business,” said Anna Makievska, founder of Bakehouse.


Just a few miles down the road, Bakehouse opened its production facility with all the rigor that comes with creating a new space.

“We had worked on the project for almost three years,” Makievska said of the roughly 1.5 million Euro investment. “We invested more than twice as much as the first bakery.”

The bakery kept the original space below Good Wine to continue producing for the store while using the new facility for commercial production and to sell directly to consumers through a storefront with production capacity of around 10,000 loaves per day of around 30 bread varieties as well as viennoiserie and pastries.

“Being in a basement we had very limited space, so we dreamed of having a facility that was very spacious with open production and big windows, so we built that,” Makievska said.

“If there is no bread in the city, then that is the end. It cannot be like that.” —Anna Makievska | founder | Bakehouse


But just a few months later, Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion sparked war, and the bakery — dubbed “the garage” with all its windows and open concept — became immediately unsafe.

“All the people inside were exposed to this danger,” she said. “There was no place to hide.”

Maskieva, who now sits on the board of directors for Bureau of Wines, explained that the small bakery team knew they had to leave the new facility and return to the basement. Many citizens evacuated the city, leaving the bakery with fewer workers.

Bakehouse closed for just one day to give the team a chance to assess their own personal situation and make the decision if they wanted to keep working. It also helped the team regroup in the basement facility. Bakehouse has been in production ever since, providing bread for consumers and some wholesale accounts, as well as providing free bread to directly to citizens in need during the war.


Currently, access to food is much easier for people in Kyiv, but Bakehouse is also supplying bread to a local restaurant providing free food to those who still need it.

This is not the first hardship for Ukraine, from the Maidan revolution in 2014 to the COVID-19 pandemic. But since the bakery opened in 2015, operations never ceased.

“We never stopped, even in the hardest times,” she said, crediting the workers who are in the bakery every day. “It’s not me; it’s the team. They have to keep baking. If there is no bread in the city, then that is the end. It cannot be like that.”

Makievska, who currently resides in Portugal with her two young children, jumped immediately into action with the parent company to ensure that all staff was paid in advance to be equipped with resources to choose whether to stay in Ukraine seek refuge elsewhere.

Out of about 80 employees, around 30 people are still working inside the bakery, and the new garage bakery is running again. Makievska’s husband is still in Ukraine.

This story is Part 1 of a three-part series. In the next installment, Makievska describes what it’s like to balance the business and humanitarian aspects of being a baker during wartime. For information on how to support Bakehouse, visit the GoFundMe campaign, Bake For Ukraine, launched by Jonathan Przybyl, owner of Proof Bread in Mesa, AZ.