Vision West Notts pupils launch own food product

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Enterprising students at Vision West Notts are launching their own specialist food products.

‘The Forest Ferret’ is the name for a range of jams and preserves which have been researched, produced and marketed by students on hospitality and catering courses at the college.

They will be unveiled at a launch event attended by staff, students and businesses on Monday evening at the college’s Number 19 Brasserie.

The business idea emerged during national Entrepreneurship Week in November when the college’s enterprise, entitlement and employability team announced plans for an exciting new project.

The team of ten students, who make up ‘The Forest Ferret’ company, secured their start-up budget of £500 from the college after submitting a business case. Students were appointed into the roles of chair, vice-chair, accountant, sales co-ordinator and chefs and have been supported by their enterprise champion Lynne Booth, who is the front-of-house tutor in the brasserie.

This enterprising team is now working with suppliers to the brasserie to acquire ingredients at minimal cost, or free wherever possible, to maximise profits. It has already produced 400 jars of jams and preserves, which will retail at £2.50 each.

Students, staff, and suppliers will be able to sample the three varieties – caramelised onion, marmalade beetroot and ginger and pear and cardamom – along with specialist breads produced by the Welbeck-based School of Artisan Food, at the launch event.

Manager of the enterprise, entitlement and employability team, Cate Hunt, said: “This enterprise project is proving to be a real success, with students embracing the challenge of setting up a business and gaining the skills to produce saleable products of jams and preserves.

“The team is looking forward to launching its first range of preserves and all profits made will be ploughed back into this exciting new venture, which will give students an insight into the full cycle of how a business runs.”

The college is aiming to launch more enterprise projects across different curriculum areas to further develop students’ entrepreneurial skills including ‘The T Team’, consisting of learners from foundation studies who will produce and sell personalised T-shirts and personalised novelty gifts.