As Saturday the 6th of May dawned, we all wished for sunshine but none was forthcoming. However, the grey clouds did not dampen the spirits of our fabulous Transition Year (TY) students who were ready to set up their Artisan Market.
The Taste Council and Bord Bia initiative ‘The Future is Food’ challenges the students to create an enterprise based on fresh food. They are asked to engage with local Artisans to acquire the necessary raw materials and to design innovative recipes so that they could hold their own Artisan food market. This year the Parents Association (ACA) gave generous funding in order that the pupils could present a very professional front to the public. Marquees were hired; equipment and presentation cases were found, while kitchens up and down the country were turned into food production hubs. Students embraced the challenge with real energy and creativity, while parents/guardians supported them every step of the way.
From late February the students researched artisan food production by visiting a variety of farmers markets and speaking to suppliers of vegetables, fruit, bread and a diverse range of food products. Despite their heavy workload, Easter holidays and many other commitments and outings, the students formed very good relationships with Artisan producers, negotiated with them, made deals and planned their delivery dates. In only a couple of weeks, they had organised a fantastic array of goods for sale.
On Saturday 6th, the marquees were erected in the quadrangle in the early morning and the students prepared their stalls to be ‘customer-ready’ by eleven o’clock. The sun refused to appear but the girls’ worked tirelessly, smiling through it all. By two o’clock, the companies had sold all of their products and our judge, William Despard of Bretzel Bakery was deciding the prize categories.
All three companies (Abundance Bistro, Little Mexico and Elevenses) were winners in their own right of course but the final awards will be presented to the girls on graduation night 24th May. Another date for the diary!
Each company donated 15% of their profits to a charity of their choice. This year Breast Cancer Ireland, The Simon Community and Make a Wish Foundation benefitted from the event.
Another fantastically successful Artisans day was over. Well done to all the girls.