Brogan Wright had warned his former girlfriend he would "punch her in the face" and "stab her to death" before he showed up at the store in Sunderland where she worked, armed with a large kitchen knife.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim had to climb over the shop counter to get away from him during the terrifying confrontation on May 7.
Prosecutor Helen Towers told the court how the troubling events at the centre of the case unfolded on that day.
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She said: "When the defendant entered the shop he threw items from the shelves and used a large kitchen knife to slash and stab at some newspapers."Still armed with the knife, the defendant went behind the counter, causing the complainant to scramble over the counter to escape him, before he took money from the till.”
She added: "The complainant challenged him, saying she would have to pay that all back, so he threw the money on the floor."
Wright, 24, of Rosalind Avenue, Sunderland, admitted threatening another with a bladed article and criminal damage when he appeared before the court.
Miss Recorder Kama Melly QC sentenced Wright, who has been in custody on remand for a month, to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements.
Recorder Melly said it was a "grave and serious" offence but the jail term could be suspended as it happened during a "downturn" in Wright's mental health and he has since shown insight and "deep regret".
The judge said the offence was not planned or premeditated but went on to tell Wright: "Anyone would, of course, have been terrified by your actions on that day."
The court heard the value of the damage caused in the shop as a result of Wright’s actions was between £20 and £30.
Wright has since described his behaviour that day as "utterly disgusting" and has also said he would welcome help to ensure nothing similar happens again.