As the conflict unfolds in the Ukraine, concerned civilians across the world continue to seek out revenues by which to support the country, its people, and bring peace to the region. Here in Texas, Laika Cheesecakes & Espresso, a small bakery in San Antonio, experienced this support firsthand as crowds flocked to its storefront, buying everything in sight and helping the bakery fundraise over $70,000.
Laika Cheesecakes & Espresso is a small, quaint bakery located in Alamo Heights, a neighborhood five minutes outside downtown, San Antonio. Opened by Ukrainian-born Anna Afanasieva and husband and business partner Viktor Krizma in 2020, the shop specializes in coffee, hand-crafted drinks, and delectable cheesecakes available by the slice, or packaged neatly in palm-sized jars.
A brief glance at user-rated sites like Yelp and Google reveals favorable ratings, sitting now at 4.8 stars on Google with over 420 reviews.
While held in good standing with the community, not even Afanasieva could have imagined the amount of support it would receive this past weekend.
Shortly after news broke that Russia had invaded the country of Ukraine, the business uploaded a message to its Instagram page revealing their intention to donate all of their weekend sales – yes, ALL sales, not simply profits – to the country.
“Many innocent lives are being affected – including personal friends and family. This donation will go to help secure not only our friends and family but an entire peaceful country being confronted with needless violence.”
And did the people of San Antonio head the call. Over the weekend, the community showed up in mass to support the neighborhood bakery. Despite cold temperatures, hours-long waits, and steadily dwindling desserts, the people of San Antonio didn’t waver. In fact, at one point a store manager addressed the crowds, simply to them know beforehand, and not to have them waste their time, that the shop had completely sold out of cheesecake – 1,500 of them – nevertheless, the local community continued to buy what drinks and merchandise was left and donate.
Yesterday, Afanasieva uploaded a video message to its Instagram page:
“From Friday, February 25 to Sunday, February 27, we have collected $72,405,” Afanasieva said. “And this is completely crazy. This is completely mind-blowing. We never expected this much support and we are very very grateful to everyone who showed up.”
Update: As of March 25, the bakery has raised over $150,000!
Laika Cheesecakes & Espresso is open at 4718 Broadway, Alamo Heights, TX 78209.