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The Bread that Travels

Updated: Jun 14

Every day at sunrise, Gevorg’s bakery door swings open, revealing an assortment of mouthwatering “lavash” and “matnakash” bread. Soon after, five women—Sona, Anahit, Varduhi, Meri, and Alvina, all of Gevorg’s neighbors—don their baking gowns and hats and get to work.

“But before, we have our sunrise coffee to the folk music tone,” smiles Meri, affectionately known as the DJ of the bakery by her colleagues.

Nestled on a street corner in the village of Sarnakunk in the Sisian region, the bakery exudes the special taste of lavash, committed to its motto, “Sarnakunk Bread,” developed by the owner, Gevorg Mkrtchyan, 42. While the ladies start their work, Gevorg greets them with his usual smile and neatly arranges the freshly baked lavash in his car for delivery to Sisian shops, where customers eagerly wait in line.

This familiar routine has been Gevorg’s life for the past three years. Gevorg and his wife, Nune, a history teacher at the local school, made the difficult yet important decision to establish a bread-baking business—an endeavor previously nonexistent in Sarnakunk and its neighboring villages.

Sarnakunk lavash, heralded for its quality, quickly gained acclaim through word-of-mouth and the patronage of early customers, solidifying its status not only in the village but also in nearby areas such as Gorayk, Tsghuk, Spandarian, and Sisian town. This success facilitated the acquisition of new technologies through the FAR Small Business Assistance program (SBA), generously sponsored by the Atesian family.

“In 2022, I applied to FAR to get a modern dough divider rounder, which turned out to be very time and cost-effective. If my employee used to make 400 rounds in 3-4 hours by hand, the machine now does it in just 15 minutes. Moreover, it automatically weighs and cuts them to a standard size,” says Gevorg proudly, noting that they now bake around 600 lavash and 150 matnakash bread daily.

Gevorg is particular about his choice of flour, having discarded large batches of bread before finding the best option. “The choice of flour can significantly influence the texture, flavor, and overall quality of your creations. I did a lot of experiments, but now I’m sure that my lavash is famous and loved by the majority of people,” he says proudly, adding that they plan to expand the business and diversify their bread offerings in their beloved village and beyond.

To support more entrepreneurs in border villages and help them kickstart or expand their businesses, join us and donate to FAR today.

The Small Business Assistance (SBA) program, financed and initiated by the Atesian Family Foundation, is a dynamic initiative dedicated to empowering entrepreneurs and small business owners. SBA equips individuals with the necessary tools to launch and expand their entrepreneurship and self-employment opportunities, particularly among conflict-affected, displaced, and rural populations in Armenia.


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