KANSAS CITY, MO — Every baker dreams of having the perfect place to create their products. When Bakehouse in Kyiv spent nearly three years on its new facility, it was the next big step in expanding out of its small operation in the basement of sister company Good Wine, an upscale food and beverage retailer where the bakery sold many of its bread and pastry items.

But mere months after the operation started in the new facility, coined “the garage” for its open design and tall windows, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hit the country’s capital, Kyiv. All those windows were suddenly a massive risk, and the staff had little choice but to retreat to the old facility beneath the store.

“Those first days were kind of chaotic,” said Anna Makievska, Bakehouse founder. “It’s a small space, and people from the new facility were not familiar with the older one. It was hard to find ingredients, and they had to learn how to use the different equipment.”


After the team — much smaller once the war broke out — streamlined the operation, it was easier to keep things moving. The bakery had significantly reduced the number of SKUs, not only because of the limited production space but also because most citizens were seeking shelter and the demand had diminished.

Nearly three months into the conflict, people in Kyiv are living day-to-day, the Bakehouse workforce is slowly ramping back up, and product is going out the door.

“We once again have clients, and we have great efforts of people who are able to sell the products,” Makievska said. “At the beginning of the war, we only had four, maybe five kinds of bread instead of thirty.”

“We hope it’s going to get better, but it all depends on the war and how safe Kyiv will be.” —Anna Makievska | founder | Bakehouse


Although bread is moving, the bakery still struggles in this war-torn city.

“We hope it’s going to get better, but it all depends on the war and how safe Kyiv will be,” Makievska said.

On Thursday, April 28, two more bombs hit Kyiv while Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, was visiting area hospitals. No bakery workers were injured in that recent attack.

Aside from the obvious implications from the blast, it also impacted sales for the bakery in the days that followed.

“Friday is usually one of the biggest days for sales,” Makievska said. “But people are scared. They’ve either left the city, or they’re at home with their loved ones.”


Many people who remain in the city are unable to work. Numerous businesses have been destroyed; some jobs are just too unsafe during the war; and large sections of the Ukrainian population have dropped everything to volunteer their services or to fight against Russian forces.

Currently the food supply is not critically low, but lack of income is preventing many people from accessing it. This strikes at the heart of a baker’s dichotomy: balancing business and humanitarianism.

In addition to selling bread to keep the business going, Bakehouse is supplying bread to six “free restaurants” providing food for elderly citizens.

“My friend, Alex Cooper, organized these restaurants,” Makievska said. “So, people can just come and get free food, and we supply the bread to them.”

Across Ukraine, many groups have formed to volunteer time and resources to supply food to places like hospitals, refugee centers and military outposts. Large organizations have stepped up to help, and Bakehouse provides bread for these local initiatives as well.

“We coordinate with volunteers to give them bread,” she said. “It’s what we do. Because without the volunteers, this war would be much worse for Ukraine.”

This story is Part 2 of a five-part series. In the next installment, Makievska describes the effects of losing the company’s warehouse after it was hit by Russian tanks. 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.