Catering skills of Barnet students put to test

Written by  Friday, 23 January 2015 19:20
At your service at the Tea Station from left to right, Sophie Theophanous, Sara Conway and Annie Hussain At your service at the Tea Station from left to right, Sophie Theophanous, Sara Conway and Annie Hussain
Catering and tourism students from Barnet and Southgate College are gaining work experience at High Barnet’s newest pop-up shop, a family-friendly tea shop that has opened in the Spires shopping centre.

The Tea Station is the latest venture to be started by Love Barnet in conjunction with local residents, and the aim is to create a retro inspired tea shop which includes a soft play area for children.

Students studying catering, hospitality, travel and tourism at Barnet and Southgate College are helping to prepare food, bake bread and serve customers in order to gain work experience.

An exciting community venture and will provide a great opportunity for students to find their feet in a work environment

David Byrne, the college principal, says the Tea Station is an exciting community venture and will provide a great opportunity for students to find their feet in a work environment and learn more about the catering and retail trade.

“The college is extremely proud and thankful that local residents and the key businesses in Love Barnet have come together in this way and are prepared to give college students a fantastic chance to experience business and enterprise.”

The students have excelled themselvesThe students have excelled themselvesConstruction students from the college helped to fit out the shop and the students assigned to the tea shop will be supervised by experienced retail staff. Food preparation will be a key part of their work.

“For the young students at Hospitality House, the college’s catering department at East Finchley, this will their first experience of the work place,” said Lucy Bridgers, one of the Love Barnet volunteers.

The Tea Station’s menu is still evolving after it opened in mid-January and it will offer a range of prepared salads, scones, pastries, tea cakes and a range of junior food as well.

“There is even a soft play area for children, making it an ideal place to meet up with other families or for parents and carers to have a relaxing break while shopping.

“More children’s facilities are planned including a baby-changing area and children’s toilet.  Story times are also in the pipeline and we hope to make the Tea Station available on Sunday afternoons for party bookings,” added Ms Bridgers.  

The Tea Station, which also incorporates Kids Shop, selling wooden toys, games alphabet art and books, is the third pop-up venture to be opened by Love Barnet and local residents.

A craft and arts shop, 89 High Street, opened last September, followed in December by Billy and Betty, a gift shop in the Spires.

 

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