Once again, French fries bakers Franky and Coen want to go on a mission in Ukraine. This time they want to go further inland than ever. The plan is to even bake for Ukrainian frontline soldiers. “We didn’t hesitate for a second,” says Franky.
“It’s very exciting. If anything happens, it’s immediately: get out!” emphasizes Coen van Oosten, who has a chip shop in Waspik. “Our safety really comes first.”
The chip shops want to stay a maximum of twenty to thirty kilometers from the front, accompanied by the army. “I don’t think we’re crazy. Some people may think so. We certainly dare,” says Franky van Hintum, who has a chip shop in Eindhoven.
“Your heart breaks when refugees raise their thumbs.”
It is the sixth time that the duo is heading to Ukraine with their mobile chip cart. Five times they stayed on the Polish-Ukrainian border. The last time they went into western Ukraine, they say. After all the adventures, the fries duo is full of stories. “Your heart breaks when refugees raise their thumbs while eating. Children who smile when they get a candy cane or lollipop, that’s the most beautiful,” says Coen with a twinkle in his eye.
“A girl who came by seemed almost not alive, she was completely exhausted. After five days, she brightened up again. And that because of a donut and fries with ketchup”, says Franky, beaming.
The numbers of the actions are staggering. According to Franky, the counter now stands at more than 75,000 portions of fries and more than 60,000 snacks. “We baked an average of 2000 portions of fries a day.”
“We will keep going as long as the war lasts.”
The sponsorship is now coming in. They have already received 5600 frikandels and a thousand Mexicanos. “We will not let them fall. We will continue to go as long as the war lasts.”
In addition, Franky has another personal mission. He has a Ukrainian wife, and her family still lives in Ukraine. “I also hope to be able to bake for my in-laws.”
They want to leave from Eindhoven on 13 October. The plan is to bake fries for two weeks at some children’s homes near the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. The last week they want to continue towards the front with snacks and fries.
The action is online to follow and support. Coen: “We are ready to go. We are behind the Ukrainians and it is a great adventure for ourselves.”
Franky and Coen bake fries at the Ukrainian border: ‘More intense than I thought’
Franky and Coen go with a chip cart to the border of Ukraine with Poland