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Vancouver bakery temporarily changes name to remove the word 'Russian'

A bakery in downtown Vancouver is temporarily changing its name after receiving hateful messages.

The Russian Spoon has been operating in the city for nine years, and has been in its current location in the Harbour Centre food court since 2018. It serves a combination of Russian and Ukrainian food.

Owner Natalia Mitrofanov said they’ve been receiving “bad calls” and “bad emails” since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine because people are “triggered” by the word Russia.

“Many negative sentences, a lot of swearing,” Mitrofanov said, adding some people were telling her to go back to Russia.

On Thursday, Mitrofanov and her team covered the word “Russian” on their signs, leaving only “Spoon.”

“We’re just spoon. Spoon bakery, for now,” she said.

On Friday, people were being urged to show their support for Ukraine by buying perogies from the store, an idea pulled together by Burnaby resident Roan Hidalgo.

“It’s a great business, I used to be a regular here, great food. I’m asking people to come out and support them,” Hidalgo said. “They don't deserve this, they shouldn’t be afraid. Not in Canada.”

Mitrofanov said she was greatly appreciative of the community support, not only for her, but also for her staff. Almost all are immigrants from countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova and China. On Monday, Mitrofanov said she has a new staff member starting who’s a Ukrainian refugee.

“She called us and said needs a job. She doesn’t speak English, so of course, this is a good place for her to start,” Mitrofanov said. “We have girls here who can help her.”

The bakery is also raising money for Unicef’s Ukrainian Emergency Fund, donating $1 for every sale of certain menu items. So far, Mitrofanov and her team have raised $438 for children and families. Top Stories

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