Immigrant-Owned Restaurant Has Hired Over A Dozen Ukrainian Refugees In Minneapolis

This is not a photo of the restaurant from the story. (Photo by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Brent Foster Contributor
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A Minneapolis restaurant founded by Ukrainian immigrants 69 years ago has hired 13 Ukrainian refugees amid the ongoing Russian invasion, KARE 11 reported Tuesday.

Now Kramarczuk’s Sausage Company and Deli is jointly run by Orest Kramarczuk, son of the founding immigrant couple, and his own son Nick, according to KARE 11.

Orest, who was born in Minnesota, said his parents fled Ukraine in the aftermath of World War II. They temporarily settled in Germany before permanently moving to Minnesota, the outlet reported.

As the restaurant grew, it became a hub of the Ukrainian community in Minneapolis. Orest’s father often welcomed new arrivals with a packed bag of groceries, according to KARE 11. (RELATED: Ben & Jerry’s Co-Founder Gave More Than $1 Million To Group Pushing To End American Support For Ukraine)

Orest told the outlet Kramarczuk’s served as “an incubator for so many immigrants. People would start here and learn English and American culture and then move on to other jobs,” adding that many “come back here to this very day saying this was [their] very first job in America.”

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continued, Orest and Nick began hiring newly-arrived Ukrainian refugees in need of employment. Now most employees at the restaurant are Ukrainian, KARE 11 reported.

With Orest as her translator, Natalia, a Ukrainian refugee who has been working at the restaurant for six months, told KARE 11 that she holds “a lot of pride in working in a restaurant in the United States.”

“I like to cook,” said Oleg, a 19-year-old refugee from Mariupol, who also found employment at Kramarczuk’s. He was previously studying towards a culinary degree in his home country, according to KARE 11.

The refugees working in Minneapolis are among the approximately 271,000 Ukrainians that have been admitted so far since Russia’s invasion began in February.