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Austin bakery supports Ukraine with dessert fundraiser

La Patisserie is selling macaroons with Ukraine's flag colors, blue and yellow, and Ukrainian-inspired pampushkas with poppy seed filling.

AUSTIN, Texas — "I'm worried about my family," said Yevgeniya Barysheva, a Ukraine native.

Barysheva moved to the U.S. about 20 years ago. She left behind her parents and family. Now, she worries for their safety as they are in the middle of the Russian invasion.

Credit: Yevgeniya Barysheva

"My father is severely handicapped, and he's bed-bound," said Barysheva. "They can't leave. They can't even hide. So, when it's affecting them, [it] affects me." 

The owner of La Patisserie bakery, Samoraya Nagree, knows Barysheva because she's her children's tennis coach. When talking to Barysheva, Nagree knew she needed to do something.

Saturday and Sunday, Nagree will be selling Ukrainian-inspired deserts at her bakery. 

The deserts include Ukrainian-inspired pampushkas (a type of doughnut). The pampushkas are filled with a poppy seed pastry cream because the poppy seed is popular in Ukraine. They're also selling macarons. The strawberry macarons are decorated with poppy seeds in honor of Ukraine. They also have macarons with Ukraine's flag colors.

Come out to support our friends in Ukraine today! We have macarons and poppyseed pampushkys all weekend long! The...

Posted by La Patisserie on Saturday, March 5, 2022

"The full sales will go towards the effort," said Nagree. "It's a little closer to us because my kiddos' tennis coaches are from there. And so we know exactly kind of who's being affected by it."

Nagree is not the only business helping out. Local food blog Austin Food Adventures partnered with nearly two dozen area restaurants, coffee shops and bars that will help Ukraine by donating a percentage of sales made on March 5 to Save the Children, which is working to help children and families affected by the war. The fundraiser is called Dine With Ukraine.

Lenni Dewi helped organize the event, despite a tough year the restaurant industry had. 

"Restaurant businesses are struggling themselves," said Dewi. "Not only with staffing, not only with the inflation and with the pandemic. They set that aside and stepped up to try and help despite their own struggles."

Dewi said next week they'll be hosting another Dine with Ukraine event. Only, this time it will only be with Asian restaurants.

The founders of this movement said they hope this expands beyond Austin.

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