DUMONT, NJ (PIX11) – In his 600 square foot studio in Dumont, Michele Petrillo was hard at work.
For nearly three decades, she has filled, wrapped and shipped gift baskets all over the world. Her New Jersey-based company, “Sneakers N Beyond,” offers a basket for almost any occasion.
And with the war in Ukraine and the current refugee crisis weighing on her mind, the business owner decided to do a Google search. What she found was Roshen, a Ukrainian company she said Russia had been trying to suppress since 2013.
The Ukraine-based company produces a number of sweets like chocolates, caramel and wafers – all products Petrillo has started sourcing. The goal, she says, was simple: to help fellow business owners overseas.
“I decided to work with them and start importing things, Ukrainian food products,” she said. “Even though I’m a small business, it will keep the money flowing and people able to keep their jobs.”
With five Roshen factories based in Ukraine, Petrillo hopes his efforts will have an impact, big or small. She has already sold 100 “Made in Ukraine” baskets. She makes no profit from the sales, only selling the baskets for what she paid for them. Her plan is to continue selling the baskets as long as she receives the products.
“I just wish I could do more,” she told PIX11 News.
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