May 14, 2014 - 15:04 AMT
EFSE success stories. Khachatryan family: never give people the food you wouldn’t eat yourself
The Khachatryans managed to keep the business and further develop it, following the directions once set by the head of the family.
Laura Khachatryan follows the business rules once set by her husband, Patvakan Khachatryan, who started the Vahan Khachatryan and Friends bakery back in 2000 with three old electric ovens, which were quite inefficient and costly to operate.

Although possessing the full knowledge of how to bake bread, Patvakan Khachatryan didn’t imagine his business could prove so successful. He just focused on what he did best: bake. The fact customers not only kept coming back, but were also telling others to stop by his bakery for the finest bread and pastries, was motivation enough for him to work harder.

“Even having the skills and the drive, I was a bit apprehensive, to put it mildly, about going to business on my own,” he admitted at the time, when he first appealed to Araratbank for a loan.

As a first step, Araratbank’s credit officer went over the issues that plagued the bakery and mapped out an investment plan to modernize his production setup. Two loans, totalling USD 57,000, went towards the acquisition of gas-fired ovens, which are much more energy-efficient.

Disaster struck the family when everything seemed to be more than good. Patvakan Khachatryan passed away less than two years ago.

However, mourning the irretrievable loss, the Khachatryans managed to keep the business and further develop it, following the directions once set by the head of the family.

Presently, their bakery supplies bread for a whole neighborhood in Malatia-Sebastia district of Yerevan, as well as for a nursing home located nearby. 15 people, including 6 bakers, 3 dough kneaders, 2 deliverymen, 1 cleaner, 1 accountant and 2 workers ensure high quality of production.

Mrs. Khachartyan says they finally developed their own recipe for making brown bread. “We were trying to find the right recipe for a long time and finally succeeded, using a special type of flour. This base is very useful, unlike those imported. My husband used to repeat: ‘never give people the food you wouldn’t eat yourself’ and I always remember it,” she says, adding that her son, Armen, has also matured in bread baking and now supervises the process like his father once did.

She also shares the plans for future: “We want to set up a shop to sell building materials and if we need extra money, we will certainly ask Araratbank for a new loan to realize this plan.”

“We are really thankful to Araratbank,” Mrs. Khachatryan says. “We always got the essential assistance and this time will not be an exception.”

In June 2011, the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) and Araratbank signed a new USD 10 million loan agreement to help the Bank expand its micro and small enterprise (MSE) lending activities.

Providing sustainable funding to entrepreneurs and private households in Southeast Europe, including the European Eastern Neighborhood Region, though its partner lending institutions, the EFSE helps small businesses to grow and generate additional income, as well as to create and sustain employment.

The project is sponsored by the European Fund for Southeast Europe

Lusine Mkrtumova/ PanARMENIAN.Net