From education to employment

Professional Cookery Student Beats Lockdown with Online Venture

Sarah-Jane Farrow

Sarah-Jane Farrow attended St Ivo School during her secondary years and as she approached the time to consider her post-16 options, she found that she didn’t really have a clear idea of what direction to take. Sixth Form didn’t offer the course that she wanted to undertake, so she enrolled at Cambridge Regional College (@CRC_College) on the Level 2 Cookery course with a view to progressing to the Level 3. Unfortunately, she had a rocky first year switching from studies to an apprenticeship and back again before returning to CRC the following academic year on the Level 3 Professional Cookery course.

Sarah-Jane said, “I had a difficult year upon leaving secondary school. I stopped trying and didn’t really appreciate the importance of securing a good education. It took a bit of time, but I returned to CRC the following year with renewed focus and I started to enjoy learning again.”

“The environment at CRC is safe and supportive. I am enjoying myself and having a good time learning from the professional chefs. I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience and now realise that things won’t happen overnight.”

Sarah-Jane is keen to progress to university and, upon starting the UCAS process, she realised that a strong portfolio of work would reinforce the theory knowledge she was gaining, increasing her chances of success, especially as lockdown had stopped on-campus learning including cooking in the professional kitchens. Sarah-Jane began cooking different recipes at home to keep up with her practical development but found it an expensive way of developing her skills and the food would often go to waste. The dilemma of how to keep up her practical experience while avoiding unnecessary costs and waste led Sarah-Jane to come up with the idea of reaching out to the community.

Sarah-Jane set herself up on Facebook and offered her skills in baking to those wishing to place an order for cakes and patisserie. She set a price of £5 per bake, to cover her costs, and within an hour of promoting her new venture Sarah-Jane found herself inundated with orders. Sarah-Jane stays in regular contact with her customers throughout the order process and publishes photographs of her work to further promote her services.

Sarah-Jane added, “This was never about making a profit, I just wanted the practical experience. If I do happen to make any profit. I put it aside for new equipment or save it towards my university fund. I am so proud of what I have achieved and how far I have come.”

Follow Sarah-Jane on Facebook – Sarah’s baking! – to find out about her baking services and order yourself a tasty treat.

Related Articles