Eastern Ontario cookie company creates 'Unity Pie' to support Ukrainians
MERRICKVILLE, ONT. -- Many businesses have stepped up to donate a portion of item sales to the crisis in Ukraine and one eastern Ontario bakery is joining in by creating a sweet treat that's been shipped across the country.
Merrickville Cookies owner Denis Boudreau says it all began when he was putting the mold for his Valentine's Day cookie collection away.
"It's heart-shaped, so we put that concept along with the idea of the Ukrainian blue and yellow, and created the Ukrainian pie," Boudreau told CTV News Ottawa.
The "Unity Pie" consists of classic cookie dough, deriving from their chocolate chip dough, and includes white chocolate chips.
One hundred per cent of net proceeds are going to the Canadian Red Cross for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
"I thought, 'You know what? We sell one or two, one or two is better than none, correct?'" Boudreau said.
The item went onto his website around midnight Feb. 27 and orders began to come in almost immediately.
"12:30 in the morning Sunday, the first orders started coming in. so it's been pretty impressive," he added.
The 8" heart-shaped cookie sells for $39.95, and includes free shipping within Canada.
"The response has been overwhelming," Boudreau said. "We've had replies from Alberta, Montreal, Halifax, all over Ontario, Quebec, you name it."
The operation is a family affair with the help of his parents and daughter, working out of their rural home kitchen.
"I could never do this without them," Boudreau said.
Baking almost 10 Unity Pies a day, it's sometimes hard for the family to keep up with demand.
Bourdreau, getting emotional, discusses the idea behind its creation.
"It's simple, actually. When you go on the news, online, and you see what's going on, it really hits you in the heart," he said, choking back tears. "It's a no brainer."
"I thought it was a very good idea," said his mother Pauline. "It's going to help the people, they need it, so people have been very generous regarding that, so we are very happy for that."
The business is also selling hoodies to support the cause, and have set up a donation box on their website.
"Whatever we get from customers, we're going to double it," Boudreau added.
Boudreau started the company in November 2021, and offers 31 different varieties of cookies. The aim is to open a storefront in Merrickville one day.
For now, they are offering local delivery throughout the region.
"It's a family collaboration and it's going very well," he added, noting the giant Unity Pie has managed to unite a country.
"The unity of people has been unbelievable, that's why we named the pie the Unity Pie," Boudreau said.
It's also helping out another county far away, but so close to everyone's hearts.
"We encourage anybody, it doesn't matter if it's our pie or another bakery or sweater or any kind of donation, it's clearly needed," Boudreau said, "We encourage anybody to do so."
"It's good to help," added Pauline. "You see that on TV and it's terrible and people have been very generous so thank you to everyone."