BERKELEY, Calif. -- The conflict in Ukraine has caused many Ukrainians to seek asylum in other countries, including the United States.
Outbaking Wholesale Bakery gives back by helping Ukrainian refugees find shelter, opportunity, and community in the Bay Area.
"It's a wholesale bakery, we produce traditional Ukrainian pastries," expressed Sasha Zabelin, the founder of Outbaking. "It's Ukrainian-Polish history that's been known and passed on from generation to generation."
The goal of the Berkeley-based company is to help refugees feel safe and comfortable while allowing them to share Ukrainian culture through food.
"I'm from Ukraine," said Zabelin. "It's my hometown, it's my childhood memories. And so when this war, the horrific war, in Ukraine started, it cut very, very deep in my heart."
He added, "I was thinking how can I contribute, how can I help with the cause. So, for me to be able to offer this company as a shelter to my Ukrainian team is something that is like a family."
Zabelin works to share Ukrainian culture through the delicacies made at the bakery.
"We make a pastry called, Rugelach, it's a traditional Ukrainian pastry," he said. "This pastry has various fillings, it's a rolled pastry and the most traditional one is poppy seed."
It's a family-owned operation, and Zabelin invites everyone to be part of the family, especially if they are looking for a safe space.
"Outbaking helps refugees, it helps them to feel needed, to feel that they are at the right place, they can work," he said. "(Oftentimes the refugees) don't have income, they don't have any way to support themselves."
Zabelin adds, "For me, offering them this place where they can continue doing what they used to do in Ukraine, for them, it's an opportunity to be part of a family."
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