Oleksiy Puchkov
How to support Ukrainian businesses?
My story

Our bakery “Urozhay” (literally translated as “Harvest”)” has been operating since 1995 in Zaporizhzhya. It is an average enterprise in terms of output, which currently employs 70 people.

During the 27 years that we have been baking bread, we have faced a lot of challenges – from poor crop harvests and related to them problems with quality raw materials to the outflow of qualified personnel and unfair competition. Our team overcame all these difficulties from year to year and provided our partners with quality service for timely delivery of products, and our customers – with quality, diverse and delicious bread. We have always told the staff that our BREAD is the strategic product and the profession we have chosen is very noble.

This was the case in the previous, relatively peaceful time… Today we are at war, and we have understood more than ever what the STRATEGIC product is. In the first days of war, it seemed that we were at the front. Every evening we had to find out whether Melitopol and Berdyansk are not blocked and whether it is possible to send a driver with bread to these cities early in the morning. Will yeast for production be brought to us from Lviv in time, because our partners from Kharkiv were forced to stop production? How will our employees from their native towns near Polig get here for the night shift, if the enemy has already set up their checkpoints there? We did not stop production even for a moment, we have worked and are working with sirens wailing, because the dough will not be able to wait…. Dough wants to become a loaf of bread and go to volunteer organizations and checkpoints of the Territorial Defense Forces, to the soldiers and hospitals, to the stalkers of Mariupol and to the volunteer hub in Rozovka, and, of course, to the shelves of Zaporizhzhya supermarkets and shops. It is important, because bread on the shelves brings warmth and comfort into the hearts of the Ukrainians. Because BREAD is a strategic product. Our strategic product. We keep our economic front and the victory is definitely ours!

Thank God, our production did not suffer any physical losses, but for uninterrupted work we need to constantly update and repair technological equipment. There has been a lack of working capital, used for these needs, in recent months. And since February 24, sending bread through volunteer channels for the needs of defenders and migrants and rising prices for raw materials and energy have further complicated the situation. First of all, we need such donor support.

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