Students from a North East school have opened their own sixth form coffee bar with help from Newcastle-based Ringtons.
The Sixth Form Business Studies students from St Thomas More School, Blaydon, researched and selected Ringtons’ business-to-business division as a partner for the launch of the new Six coffee bar.
Located in the sixth form common room, the coffee bar caters for more than 600 students and is manned by the older pupils.
The bar has already proved a hit with students impressed by the barista quality coffees, smoothies, frappes and lattes being served by their peers.
The project saw students agree a budget, meet with various suppliers, write up their findings and develop a business plan to support the coffee bar concept on a long-term basis.
The research culminated in a student-led presentation to the board of governors outlining their research and naming a recommended supplier.
Stephen Drysdale, head of Ringtons Beverages, the firm’s business-to-business division, says: “We were incredibly impressed by the knowledge and professionalism shown by the sixth form students from St Thomas More.
“As part of their research we invited the group alongside their teacher, Fiona Shaw, into Ringtons in Newcastle to meet with us, taste a variety of teas and coffees, and have a go on some of the espresso equipment we have in our training suite.
“It’s great to see such promising students taking on a practical project like this and it has given them a real insight into the process needed to research and appoint a supplier and, of course, how to make a great coffee!”
Richard Bell, chef manager at St Thomas More, adds: “Learning theory is very different to practical learning and we think undertaking projects of this nature are invaluable for our students’ understanding of business and a real work environment.
“The students greatly enjoyed the on-site visits to Ringtons and were really excited after the hands-on training they received during the tour and on our own espresso equipment when it was installed in our new coffee bar.
“The students love coming up with new coffee concoctions using their new found barista skills and even the staff are queuing up to see what’s on the menu!”