The Manifesto Market team wanted to do something to support Ukrainian refugees by providing them with job opportunities. They launched an initiative to support the opening of a restaurant by a Ukrainian chef or entrepreneur and offered space in Manifesto Anděl for the first Ukrainian restaurant, which opened in three months. Manifesto’s investment is estimated at $40,000, including a free six-month lease and initial fit-up.
Among the 12 entries was the first restorer Anna Temnenko with her concept called Barva, which means Color in Ukrainian. Blue and yellow dominate the decor, and the menu features traditional Ukrainian dishes, including borscht, varenyky, and syrnyky. Temnenko works alongside his family members as well as refugees found on Telegram and Facebook refugee groups.
Temnenko graduated from the University of Economics in Prague with a degree in business and management. After her studies, she worked in an agency that dealt with the employment of foreigners. She tried to work in human resources and marketing and ran an online store in Ukraine. She talks about how she came to run a restaurant and what she learns along the way.
How did you hear about the Manifesto Market opportunity?
Anna: I saw an Instagram post shared by a friend of mine and I hesitated for a long time whether to write or not. In the end, I realized that I would give anything for the trial, and I went for it! I’m so glad it worked for me because I can create multiple job opportunities this way. Since the beginning of the war, I have always tried to help the Ukrainian people in one way or another, but I did not have the opportunity to start long-term and sustainable help. If I open a restaurant, I can employ at least a few of them. With that, I would like to say that there is still a possibility and a chance for others, especially refugee women, to stay in the Czech Republic. They are not lost, their life is not over, and even though it is a very difficult time at the moment, with many refugees living in daily fear, I believe that the opening of the Barva restaurant will be synonymous with hope and help for many of them.
How did you come up with the name Barva?
Originally we chose Ukrainian names, but then we thought that we would prefer to go for a more universal name and that is why the name Barva was created… This word is the same for Czechs and Ukrainians and for foreigners it will also be acceptable due to its simplicity. .
Can you tell us about the decoration concept of your restaurant?
We tried to make it as authentic as possible, so inside you will see the classic “vyshyvanka” in the traditional colors, black, white, blue and yellow. We have also adapted the dishes to this. I had help with the interior not only from friends, but also from a family with whom I did the large embroideries.
How did you create the menu?
Barva Restaurant’s Ukrainian menu will reflect homemade recipes from different regions of Ukraine, but also the fact that my boyfriend is vegan. Thanks to him, for example, I learned to cook two versions of the typical Ukrainian borscht soup and both will be on the menu. Another typical dish will be my favorite varenyky – stuffed pasta bags. Every 14 days we will have a new dish on special offer.
And when you say varenyky, what comes to mind?
I think of home. And also old Ukrainian films, in which you can clearly see Ukrainian culture, where women are in the kitchen, cook a lot and make maybe my favorite varenyky. Varenyky is also part of every Christmas menu, which consists of 12 dishes, so I highly recommend trying my favorite, the sweet cherry one, in addition to the savory version, which we tuned to absolute perfection.