Columbia baker helps stock Ukrainian kitchens.

Erin Nobles closed the door on Silver Spoon Bake Shop's day-to-day retail sales as ingredient costs rose and employees became scarce.

She still crafts cookies, cupcakes, croissants and other baked delicacies for online orders for the Columbia shop, but inflation and the labor shortage haven't been the only current affairs to affect her operations.

As the Russian military began to tear through Ukraine in February, sparking what American think tank the Atlantic Council calls the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, thousands of Americans watched in horror from their living rooms.

Since then, concerned observers have hung yellow-and-blue flags in solidarity, boycotted Russian vodka and sent aid abroad.

Others have supported local establishments trying to make a difference. Customers at Nobles' Devine Street bakery have bought specially designed petit fours, raising $2,210 to sponsor meals for Ukrainian refugees.

Nobles and her one employee were so busy rushing around the kitchen to fulfill 100 orders of petit fours the day SC Biz News reached out to her, so she only had a moment to catch her breath and respond via email.

"Our petit fours we call them party fours are one of our top selling items, and since I was able to incorporate the Ukrainian national flower, a sunflower, and hearts that are half yellow, half blue, I knew it would appeal to many people who wanted to help in some way," she told SC Biz News.

The French Culinary Institute-trained baker modeled the drive after a fundraiser she had launched for a regular customer who had lost her home to flooding.

Following the first days of the invasion, she contacted World Central Kitchen, an emergency food relief nonprofit founded by Jos Andrs, the dean at the New York City-based institute she attended. She then donated 100% of the proceeds from the special party fours, offered in two special online events, toward the organization.

"I do not know him personally, but he was a dean at my culinary school in New York City and I went to a demonstration he put on," she said. "He is a...

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