Suman Acharya poses for a photo inside his shop, Euromix Delicatessen, on Piedmont Ave. in North Oakland. Credit: Ricky Rodas

If someone is craving an Eastern European food item, they can probably find it at Euromix Delicatessen, a store on Piedmont Avenue selling imported goods. 

“Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Romania, Bosnia, you name it. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, everywhere. We will try to get it,” said Euromix co-owner Suman Acharya about the origins of products he stocks on his shelves.  

Acharya and his business partner Prem Prakash Gautam purchased Euromix from the previous owners in 2021 because of their connection to Eastern Europe. The Nepalese natives had lived in Moscow for years and grown accustomed to Eastern European treats like kvass, a wheat-based Russian soda. 

Acharya thought Euromix was a good investment, but then Russia invaded Ukraine last February, a few months after purchasing the shop.

Euromix employee Maryna Sydorenko, who migrated to the East Bay from the Donbas region of Ukraine over a year ago, has been personally impacted by the conflict. 

“There is nothing there for me now because all the buildings I knew that were there are destroyed,” Sydorenko said.  

The war is affecting global supply chains for countless raw materials and retail products, leaving Acharya and his co-owner to figure out how to secure goods for the communities that crave them. 

“You used to carry that, what happened?” said Acharya about questions he gets from customers now. “I always tell them, ‘Hey, we’re trying to get that back.’”

In this audio feature produced for KALW, we hear from Euromix’s owners and staff about how the war is impacting their business and the communities they cater to.

Ricky Rodas is The Oaklandside’s small business reporter. He produced this audio story as part of an ongoing radio fellowship at KALW, where it aired on Crosscurrents.

Ricky Rodas is a member of the 2020 graduating class of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Before joining The Oaklandside, he spent two years reporting on immigrant communities in the Bay Area as a reporter for the local news sites Oakland North, Mission Local, and Richmond Confidential. Rodas, who is Salvadoran American and bilingual, is on The Oaklandside team through a partnership with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.