chain of international supermarkets in Boston stops stocking Russian products | News

BazaAr Supermarkets, a small chain of international stores in and around Boston, stopped stocking products imported from Russia as a show of support for the Ukrainian people after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and attacks on civilian areas .

This Sunday, for the second week in a row, more than 3,000 people took to the streets of Boston to rally against the war. As a business with an immigrant background, the BazaAr channel joins forces to support Ukraine.

The first BazaAr supermarket opened in Brookline in 1991. A second market opened in Allston in 2007, followed by one in Cambridge in 2013 and most recently one in Newton in 2014.

Sabina Roytman, one of the current owners, joined the business in 2014. Having herself immigrated from Moldova in the 1990s, Roytman said she sympathizes with Ukrainians.

“We emigrated from the regime that was there at the time, in order to live a better life and to have the freedom that we, thank God, have here in this country,” she said.

BazaAr markets are international stores that carry goods from all over Europe, including Russia. Roytman explained that the company indirectly purchases products overseas through wholesalers. The stores have decided to forgo buying Russian imports from its wholesalers.

“We don’t want to support war,” Roytman said. “Our hearts are with the Ukrainian people.”

She said it was still unclear whether stores would start stocking Russian products again in the future. Ukrainian products from supermarkets could also be unavailable for the duration of the war, she added.

“Unfortunately, we understand that we are not going to have deliveries for some time,” Roytman said.

Roytman explained that all four stores have staff members with relatives in Ukraine. The company works to help these family members and plans to send food to a refugee camp.

“We helped a few families flee to Moldova,” she said.

She noted that the supermarket staff includes immigrants from Ukraine and Russia.

“We are all immigrants and we are here in this country because we wanted freedom,” she said. “We wanted a better life for ourselves and for our children. And we all pray that Ukrainians can have it – that they can have freedom, that they can have peace – and that it will come back to them too.

—Writer Michal Goldstein can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @bymgoldstein.

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