OC family-owned food store vows to continue helping Ukrainians despite ban on some Russian goods

Jessica De Nova Image
Sunday, March 13, 2022
SoCal shop vows to continue helping Ukraine despite Russian goods ban
The owner of an OC family-owned European gourmet foods shop says the ban on some Russian goods will affect their business, but their focus is on humanitarian efforts to help Ukrainians.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- The owner of an Orange County family-owned European gourmet foods shop said Friday that the White House's ban on some Russian goods and increased barriers on imports will affect their business, but their focus will continue on humanitarian efforts to help Ukrainians.

Lisa Harvey of European Delights Gourmet Foods in Fountain Valley said that with things changing so fast, she's not sure how long her shelves will continue stocked with Russian goods.

The latest of these changes to U.S.-Russia relations affecting business owners like Harvey, and others importing goods from Russia, came Friday.

President Biden announced increased economic pressure on Putin. The U.S. and its allies are taking steps to deny "Most Favored Nation" status, known as Permanent Normal Trade Relations or PNTR in the U.S.

"Revoking PNTR for Russia is going to make it harder for Russia to do business with the United States," President Biden said. "And doing it in unison with other nations that make up half of the global economy will be another crushing blow to the Russian economy that's already suffering very badly from our sanctions."

Harvey said 30 percent of her stock came from Russia, mostly candies, but also dried fish and caviar. Along with vodka and diamonds, the U.S. will abandon seafood imports from Russia.

"We have amazing supplements from Canada and from Alaska that we'll be focusing on," Harvey said. "So, I guess we'll have to be adapting to new life, new reality."

Goods from Ukraine also sold here are harder to come by, but Harvey said her focus continued on helping Ukrainians.

Eyewitness News first introduced you to this family-owned business when Harvey organized efforts to collect much needed baby and medical supplies to send to Ukraine.

Harvey said Friday, she'll figure out a way for her business to stay afloat because there were people in need in her home country.

"I really feel that my effort counts and that we can unite and the synergy of our efforts can actually help on a bigger scale," said Harvey. "And that's basically my biggest motivation right now."

The store owner said regardless of supply shortages, 10 percent of her proceeds will continue going to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

For ways to help Ukrainian refugees and relief efforts, click here.