Rising hopes: Ukrainian transplants constructing new life, bakery

Rising hopes: Ukrainian transplants constructing new life, bakery

They fled their wartorn nation final 12 months and now name Middlesex County house.

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They fled their war-torn nation final 12 months and now name Middlesex County house.

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Now, Ukrainians Iryna and Mykola Bilovol are getting ready new batches of macarons after the tasty treats proved a runaway hit at Wednesday’s grand opening of U.Cake, their dessert store in Strathroy, west of London.

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“We didn’t count on there can be lots of people,” Mykola Bilovol mentioned. “We ready virtually 300 (macarons), and so they all bought out inside 4 hours.”

The bakery specializes within the little French-style sandwich cookies made with almond flour and serves espresso and tea.

The store at 5-830 Albert St. affords 5 flavours of macaron – matcha, double chocolate, blackberry and lavender, and ruby chocolate – and has plans for extra. Additionally they promote chocolate-covered strawberries, handmade brownies with cheesecake, and different treats.

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The bakery is the primary of its variety within the space, mentioned native resident Jane Bilyayeva, one of many final opening-day clients to get some macarons earlier than they bought out.

“I don’t actually like sweets,” she mentioned, “so I discovered they have been simply candy sufficient. Not one thing you’d discover on the grocery retailer, for certain.”

Iryna Bilovol, left, sits with her son Oleksandr, 8, daughter Polina, 5, and husband Mykola at their new dessert shop in Strathroy on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. The family arrived in Canada six months ago after fleeing war-torn Ukraine. (Calvi Leon/The London Free Press)
Iryna Bilovol, left, sits together with her son Oleksandr, 8, daughter Polina, 5, and husband Mykola at their new dessert store in Strathroy on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. The household arrived in Canada six months in the past after fleeing war-torn Ukraine. (Calvi Leon/The London Free Press)

The Bilovols, their five-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son, got here to Southwestern Ontario from Poland after fleeing their house in Lviv, a metropolis in western Ukraine.

“Our dad and mom mentioned, ‘It’s a must to go to supply security for our grandchildren,’ ” Mykola mentioned. “It was not a simple choice for all of us.”

They’re amongst hundreds of Ukrainians who got here to Canada, together with dozens within the London space, after Russia invaded Ukraine Feb. 24.

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Again house, Mykola was an air visitors controller and Iryna a marketer, operating a web based clothes enterprise whereas caring for their youngsters.

The couple had toyed with opening a bakery for years. With their entrepreneurial grit and Iryna’s ardour for baking, they knew it was for them.

So once they discovered they couldn’t proceed of their professions in Canada, “We determined, possibly that is the very best time to open,” mentioned Mykola.

Since shifting in with a bunch household in Strathroy, he and Iryna enrolled the children at school and accomplished enterprise programs at Fanshawe Faculty in London.

Working the store has been a steep studying curve, mentioned Mykola. “It was a problem for us. We actually didn’t know what to anticipate.”

They’re nonetheless figuring out how a lot to arrange every day — baking macarons is an extended course of — and what objects they’ll add to their menu.

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After receiving overwhelming assist from Canadians, Mykola mentioned it was essential his household was impartial and did “one thing on our personal.”

“We’ve to be an instance for our kids. We’ve to indicate them that, in any state of affairs, you might have a alternative,” one among them being to work towards objectives you set, he mentioned.

Jane Bilyayeva enjoys a latte at U.Cake, a Ukrainian dessert shop in Strathroy, on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. She was one of the last opening-day customers to get some macarons before they sold out. (Calvi Leon/The London Free Press)
Jane Bilyayeva enjoys a latte at U.Cake, a Ukrainian dessert store in Strathroy, on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. She was one of many final opening-day clients to get some macarons earlier than they bought out. (Calvi Leon/The London Free Press)

Many bakery clients expressed pleasure in regards to the new enterprise and a need to assist the newcomers Thursday.

“It is a quiet aspect of city, so it’s good to see one thing,” mentioned Strathroy’s Maria Medieros.

“It’s improbable. The city wanted one thing like this, one other espresso store,” mentioned Bilyayeva, a fellow Ukrainian who has lived in Ontario for a decade. “I feel within the subsequent few years, we’ll see much more Ukrainian delicacies, given what number of immigrants have come within the final 12 months.”

Mykola mentioned the neighborhood response has been “wonderful.”

“It is a large pleasure for us,” he mentioned. “To have the chance to share our merchandise, to share our work.”

U.Cake plans to be open weekdays from 10 a.m. to six p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to five p.m. For particulars, go to them on Instagram at @u.cake_bakery, or on Fb at u.cakebakery.

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twitter.com/CalviatLFPress

The Native Journalism Initiative is funded by the Authorities of Canada

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