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TUMO will renovate the Gyumri market and establish an international culinary school

TUMO will reconstruct the historic Gyumri market to establish an international culinary school and implement a project aimed at long-term economic development with a 2.5 million euro grant provided by the European Union. The grant agreement was signed today in Gyumri by EU Ambassador to Armenia Vassilis Maragos and TUMO CEO Marie Lou Papazian.

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The Gyumri Market and Culinary School initiative is set to position Gyumri as a regional hub for tourism and gastronomy, all while blending the rich heritage of Armenian cuisine with innovative culinary techniques and approaches.

In collaboration with the esteemed French institution Institut Lyfe (formerly Institut Paul Bocuse), TUMO will craft a curriculum that integrates the best practices and globally recognized standards in culinary education. Outstanding students who complete the two-year program will have the chance to continue their studies at Institut Lyfe in Lyon, France.

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“Our main goal with this new education program is to craft a new generation of Armenian chefs by combining the curriculum of the renowned French culinary school with tried and true methodologies from TUMO Studios, already implemented in Armenia. Students will incorporate their learning with workshops guided by international experts,” said TUMO CEO Marie Lou Papazian.

The culinary school will accommodate 30 students annually, most of whom will receive scholarships to pursue their studies entirely free-of-charge.

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The project will revitalize the old market area of Gyumri, which has been abandoned for years. TUMO will oversee the reconstruction of the building.

Upon completion, the market will be turned into a space that serves as a hub for education, culinary arts, and economic development.

The hub will also accommodate:

•    Spaces for workshops and other educational events
•    Booths for local vendors to work in secure and hygienic environments
•    Restaurants
•    Shops for artisanal and handmade goods
•    Venue for festivals, concerts, fairs and other events

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In addition to EU funding, the project will be supported by the John and Hasmik Mgrdichian Foundation as well as Judith Saryan and Victor Zarougian.

In the upcoming weeks, an international architectural competition will be launched to choose the team responsible for reconstructing the center. Once the team has been selected, construction will begin promptly. The grand opening of the market and culinary school is scheduled for 2026.

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