We were delighted to be asked by Springboard, a charity helping young people facing multiple barriers find work within the hospitality industry, to run a training and coffee experience session for some of their students.
These students are on the charity’s ‘Let’s Cook’ programme: an exciting mix of kitchen based learning and industry visits, as well as self-esteem and confidence building workshops.
For two days a week over ten weeks, participants gain transferrable skills which develop teamwork, confidence, assertiveness, work ethic and communication. Healthy eating is promoted and practical culinary skills are taught, including how to select raw ingredients and how to prepare, cook and serve food. It also covers 2 certificated vocational courses: Food Hygiene & and the industry standard “World Host” Customer Care.
We had eight students aged between 14 and 16 years come to visit Owens for a morning training session. We gave them a background to our business; how we started and what our objectives as a business are. We then moved onto an introduction to coffee, how it is produced, and why we choose to only use organic and fair-trade coffee. This was followed by some practical and fun exercises, involving how to taste different flavours and where the sensors for taste on your tongue are using a blindfold to focus the sensory taste experience. Then it was time to learn how to make that perfect espresso, flat white or americano, and to learn about different brewing methods using a cafetière, clever dripper and bulk brew method. We split the students into three groups for this exercise and they all had a chance to use one of our commercial coffee machines to make a latte, with varying degrees of success on the latte art! As our trainers Gaynor and Cara said to them on the day, it takes practice and lots of it to perfect making a perfect heart or tulip. Being a fully qualified barista takes time, effort and commitment!
As well as this we gave them a tour of our new Roastery: they were particularly impressed with our roaster Lorenzo, especially the ‘hoover’ that sucks up the green beans into the roaster for processing. Our board room was also another favourite as there is a large window in the room that looks over the production area with an excellent view again of the ‘space ship’ roaster. It was of course, no surprise that the biscuits (particularly the chocolate ones) served at break time went down exceptionally well too!
The overall aim of the morning was to give an insight into how a business within the hospitality industry works, and an insight as to why training is vital within it, hopefully inspiring some of them to consider hospitality as a career choice in the future.
Once finished with us, the teachers took the students down to Countryman’s Choice Farm Shop & restaurant for a spot of well deserved lunch. Lunch had already been decided upon, and pre ordered so a relaxed end to a great morning.
The children were all extremely well behaved, asked pertinent questions and were engaged in the training session wholeheartedly. They are a credit to their families and schools and are welcome back anytime.
Springboard specialise in the advancement in life and education of young people under the age of 25 by the provision of advice, training and skills courses. You can find out more about them here