http://arka.am/en/news/interview-Interview of Victoria Sukiasyan, the founder and owner of the KERAS dried fruit store, to ARKA and Novosti-Armenia news agencies as part of the special project #SaveBusiness
– How did the situation with COVID-19 impact your business?
Sukiasyan – Our KERAS, a small boutique of home dried fruits (my parents make them), differs from many other similar for its concept: a box, a basket, a “bouquet” of dried fruits can be a beautiful and prestigious gift for the closest and most important people. This is a worthy replacement for banal sweets, flowers and even brandy, which can represent our country in any international forums, conveying its true taste and warmth to the world.
This part of our work is in principle not subject to the virus, although, of course, sales have shrunk significantly because of the lack of tourists and international flights.
But here’s another part of the concept, also implemented during the first year and a half of work, the creation of a cozy and beautiful corner in the city center where people come not just for shopping, but for communication, for a friendly atmosphere and for my family’s story – it, for obvious reasons, is really threatened with drawdown. And it is very sad.
– Do you have a delivery service, and how much is it in demand?
Sukiasyan – We have not folded our hands. Of course, delivery works in Yerevan. We also try to attract orders from abroad.
Tourists, relatives and friends of Yerevan residents – our regular customers, will not be left without goodies and gifts from Keras, making orders on Facebook. I made an appeal through social networks to support us and, what surprised me, the people whom I know and even complete strangers began to make orders. At the same time, they often openly write that they make orders to help, because they do not want our store to be gone.
It turns out that this unprecedented epidemic awakens kindness, solidarity and sympathy in many. I want to say thank you very much to all our customers. I really hope that with their help our store will be preserved (at the old address or at the new one – this is not yet clear). And I promise that we will not stay in debt.
– Do you expect help from the government?
Sukiasyan – No, I hope for the help of people.
Question: What do you think, how big will be the loss of your, and not only, business from the coronavirus. And in general, what risks do you see in everything that happens?
Sukiasyan – I’m not an economist and I can’t, and don’t want to gauge my own and total damage now. I can only say that if this summer many of such small places as ours, which create the aura of Yerevan, such as cafes, souvenir shops, and shops of national products, are closed in the city, then the social damage for the city will be irreparable. And it will be very difficult to restore this environment that has been creating and growing for years.