KANSAS CITY, MO — For Bakehouse in Kyiv, Ukraine, supply chain disruption is very serious business. As the country’s war with Russia continues, Ukrainian businesses struggle to import the materials they need to keep operations moving.

“It’s possible to import, but it’s difficult,” said Anna Makievska, Bakehouse founder. “During the war, our government is regulating very strictly. We are able to buy currency to purchase goods that are considered ‘critical.’ It’s a problem that we cannot convert our local currency to dollars or Euro freely because we need to go through the regulations. We only import the things we need crucially.”

Overall, Bakehouse had around 800 import contracts with vendors outside of Ukraine. Between the new regulations, the bakery’s limited funds due to the warehouse fire and the money going to keeping bakers paid, the bakery’s business strategy has shifted into crisis mode.


As supply chain disruption impacts supplier companies worldwide, some of Bakehouse’s vendors can help the bakery, but others still have to maintain their original terms, oftentimes even requiring prepayment.

“In this case, we need to choose where we can still work with suppliers,” Makievska said. “Some contracts have been paused, but not stopped. We didn’t stop the work with any of our suppliers; they help us a lot.”

Makievska noted that many suppliers have donated materials not only for the bakery operation but also for the bakery to share in the humanitarian efforts during the war.

“Our government created corridors for ingredients, foods, medicines — all things in short supply,” she said, noting that Wine Bureau, Bakehouse’s parent company, is assisting with these logistics as well.

“We have a partnership with a warehouse in Poland, and we organize the transport of goods to Ukraine,” she added.

“It’s the people who risk their lives — who leave their families in another city or village — to work every day, knowing that this is not a safe country. The main purpose is to keep them living and having an income, and that’s why the GoFundMe is so important.” —Anna Makievska | founder | Bakehouse


After crises that have left parts of Ukraine without access to food and other critical resources, the company has historically organized efforts to go into those areas to provide those needed items.

“Our logistics guys were going into those areas and gave food to people who were living there,” she said. “People were cut from supply of food, water, everything. So, we gave them whatever we could.”

When the company receives donated items from suppliers, those goods are specifically used for humanitarian efforts.

“We don’t use those items to sell or to produce something we can sell,” Makievska said. “We just use this to help other people.”

While Bakehouse’s humanitarian efforts are at the forefront of its mission, the bakery also needs to keep the business afloat so it can support those efforts. To do that, Bakehouse needs help from suppliers, even when Makievska herself is more comfortable providing help than asking for it.

American baker Jonathan Przbyl, owner of Proof Bread in Mesa, AZ, launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to keep Bakehouse running.

“Our biggest cost in our bakery business is staff cost,” she said. “The most money I spend is to pay them well. It’s the people who do the bread. It’s the people who risk their lives — who leave their families in another city or village — to work every day, knowing that this is not a safe country. The main purpose is to keep them living and having an income, and that’s why the GoFundMe is so important.”


Administrative-type staff, many of whom are now working remotely or abroad, are not currently receiving paychecks. Some are able to get assistance through the government or local refugee organizations where they currently reside, allowing them to work part-time for the bakery to keep the business afloat.

Additionally, the bakery needs help receiving ingredients, especially with the challenges that come with trying to procure materials now. Immediate needs include butter and eggs, as well as flour, which is currently running in short supply.

Equipment needs are near the top of the list, too. Because the bakery had to move much of the operation into its old facility in the basement of sister company and retailer Good Wine, it’s working with a lot of old equipment.

“We could use help with equipment because it is an old bakery with old equipment,” Makievska said. “We had to stop all investments in the bakery, so we cannot buy any new equipment.”

For example, the bakery needs mixer upgrades, especially for the artisan bread products.

While it’s critical to keep the bakery moving day-to-day during the war, Makievska also keeps in mind what the future of the bakery will be. Considering equipment needs for both facilities will ensure that the operation will move forward when the fighting is over.

She also suggested that hiring Ukrainian refugees in North American bakeries is a way to not only provide them with income, but it also teaches these women important skills. Because Ukrainian men ages 18-60 are required to stay in the country, most refugees are women and children. When they are able to return home, these women will have skills to bring into the workforce and also help the Ukrainian economy and baking industry as well. “I encourage people to hire Ukrainian workers abroad,” Makievska said. “This is something that we need. People left, especially women, and I have many workers who are now abroad. Some of them are office workers, but some are pastry chefs, bakers or cooks, and they need jobs. Ukrainians are talented, hard-working people, and they need jobs.”

This story is Part 4 of a five-part series. In the final installment, Makievska looks to the future of what Ukraine and the bakery will look like after the fighting ends, and how the North American baking industry can help. 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.