By, Christine Aghakhanian

YEREVAN – A mission to promote and expand local businesses in Armenia prompted the launch of the first-ever subscription box service, Ararat Box, which began as a startup with the assistance of Renderforest, the largest IT company in Armenia with over 10 million global users.

Since its inception, Ararat Box has expanded to serve customers from all over the world and has engaged in philanthropic efforts amid the recent war in Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh). “We have already sent 500 boxes to the children of Artsakh. Also, we donated 5 million AMD for the assistance to wounded soldiers who have fought fearlessly for our home. Indeed, in these difficult days for our country, we must work even more and bring more profit to Armenia,” said Anna Khurshudyan, a Digital Marketing Specialist at Ararat Box.

The monthly subscription service, which is available for delivery worldwide, includes an assortment of authentic and unique Armenian gourmet snacks, which vary on a monthly basis. “We buy thousands of products from various vendors and change selection every month in order to support as many businesses as possible. The vendors are from all over Armenia: Lori, Syunik, Aragatsotn, Ararat, Kotayk, Armavir, Vayots dzor and Yerevan, of course,” Khurshudyan said.

The inspiration behind Ararat Box, Khurshudyan says, came from the desire to connect with many friends and relatives living abroad, adding that the idea of creating a platform was an effort to unite the Diaspora and Homeland with Armenia’s rich cultural heritage and providing customers all over the world with an opportunity to purchase Armenian goods. “The inspiration was everything connected with Armenia – water, weather, forests, mountains, people and many more as Armenia is considered a centre of inspiration and creative minds,” she added.

With plans to expand on an even larger scale, Ararat Box customers today derive mainly from the US, Canada, Australia and Germany. Khurshudyan believes that support from the Armenian Diaspora, as well as their many non-Armenian customers, gives them the motivation to continue to improve their business model, however, their current priority is helping rebuild Artsakh and providing the much needed humanitarian aid to the people whose livelihoods were shattered by the gruesome war.

“At this time, we are mainly concentrated on supporting and helping the Armenian economy by exporting products of hundreds of Armenian vendors as a healthy economy requires small business growth and sustainability. We believe that together we can achieve more and make Armenia a prosperous country. Our main mission is to support Armenia and small businesses throughout these rough times. We also believe that we should contribute to the development of Armenian producers. Indeed in these hard and burdensome days for our motherland, we must work even harder and bring more profit to Armenia. Moreover we want to make people happy by sending authentic Armenian snacks all over the world,” she added.

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