Since my first week at Global Generation in December 2012, we’ve had annual winter markets in the Skip Garden, featuring different micro-enterprises set up and run by our Business & Sustainability BTEC students from Regent High School. The markets have always featured an array of impressive, natural products made by the students themselves, but none more so than this winter's - writes Rachel Solomon
Our current Year 11 students came up with their business ideas during the last academic year, testing out their chosen products at the 2014 market. Back then, Chilli Billi’s sweet chilli jams made using organic chillis - including some from the Skip Garden - had sold out, Merry Dex’s beautiful birch decorations with etchings in them were a success, and Creams Supreme’s lip balms and lotion bars were very popular. So, this time around, the students decided to make more of the same types of products - knowing they had a target market and focusing on improving their quality.
The Glittery Garden’s bakery micro-enterprise and Save Me Some’s food concept needed further attention, so both teams went to work, supported by our chef Vero, to plan their new approach. The Glittery Garden bakers decided to focus on making vegan and gluten-free cupcakes using seasonal ingredients - they had a beetroot flavour and carrot cake. And Save Me Some opted for making organic raw chocolates.
Since their first attempt, members of all five groups have been learning more about the principles of business, which they have been able to apply to the development of their original micro-enterprises, and present to marketing professionals at Karmarama. And this year, the students' hard work, preparation and enthusiasm, supported and encouraged by many of Global Generation's staff team and interns, led to them having a successful market in the Skip Garden Sky Room - our very first on the new site.
Having spent weeks with my students working towards this day, it was great for me to see their efforts pay off on the night of the Fire Feast - their stalls were very popular with everyone in the Skip Garden. Some of the groups sold out of all their handmade, environmentally friendly products, with visitors of the market stocking up on last-minute Christmas presents for friends and family whilst there.
Here are some of the students’ reflections on it all:
“It was great to be able to communicate with others and tell them how amazing our products are - to know it’s natural and organic.” - Rukshana of Creams Supreme
“Since we were making raw chocolate in different flavours our customers were able to choose what type of chocolate they wanted to get... the flavours we used seemed to have attracted them, especially our raw rosemary and seasalt chocolate, which sold out the most - I was very glad about how we sold nearly all of our raw chocolate.” - Rezuana of Save Me Some
“We were all working as a proper team. We all had put effort into the sales day, and had a go at making and selling products. We had fun making our product - I was in charge of drilling which was fun!” - Mohammed of Merry Dex