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Ambitious local pupils become foodie entrepreneurs in Fulham

Enterprising youngsters from local primary schools set up their stalls in Fulham Broadway this week to sell handmade chutneys, jams and tasty baked goods.

Visiting a farm to pick fruit and vegetables, creating their own delicious recipes and developing marketing ideas were all part of the project for the 150 pupils from H&F schools including Avonmore Primary in West Kensington, All Saints CE Primary in Fulham, and Greenside Primary in Shepherds Bush.

Customers flocked to the mini food market to bag jars of strawberry jam, flavoured with mint, basil or chilli, along with tasty rhubarb and apple or beetroot and ginger chutneys.

Working in partnership with charity School Food Matters and Fulham supermarket Whole Foods, the pupils had a chance to develop their very own businesses from scratch.

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Image caption: Image 2: Pictured left to right are Theo Carlebach, 9, Yousif Alsaadi, 9, and Sabian Reysantos, 10, from Avonmore Primary

Exciting to sell

Noah Jackson, nine, from All Saints CE Primary School, in Bishops Avenue, explained: “We went to a place called Crockford Bridge Farm in Surrey and picked strawberries and rhubarb. We turned them into rhubarb and apple chutney and strawberry jam.

“We also made cheese biscuits because we thought they would go well with the chutney, and rock cakes and scones. It has been really fun although it was quite nerve-wracking selling at first. But once we got used to it, the selling was really exciting.”

Another pupil, nine-year-old Paco Espinosa, added: “It has been great to work together as a team as everyone has worked very closely and it has been really fun. The best part was going to the farm.”

Pupils from Year 4 and Year 5 at the schools got involved with the project, although only a handful were able to hit the streets to sell their wares.

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Image caption: Image 3: Pictured are All Saints Primary pupils Brooke Coulson, 9, Paco Espinosa, 9, Felix Scorer, 9, Evie Ford, 8, Noah Jackson, 9, James Dunlop, 9, with H&F Mayor PJ Murphy (far right)

Anna Spence, the Year 4 class teacher at All Saints, said the project had been ‘brilliant’ for pupils as they used maths to work out pricing and profit, creativity to develop labels and a marketing plan, and social skills to connect with potential customers.

“Everyone has had a role to play, so it has been all about teamwork,” she added.

In a result that would have had The Apprentice star Sir Alan Sugar grinning from ear to ear, the youngsters from Avonmore Primary completely sold out of their handmade jams and chutneys.

Even the Mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham, Cllr PJ Murphy, dropped by the market to buy some of the homemade goodies for himself.

“To see how the pupils have gone out, picked the fruit and vegetables and created their own farm to plate businesses is brilliant,” he said. “The schools’ involvement in this project is fantastic to see and it has been a great experience for them.”

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Image caption: Image 4: Pictured left to right are Sabian Reysantos, 10, Yousif Alsaadi, 9, Theo Carlebach, 9, Hollie Brader, Avonmore Primary Year 5 class teacher, Alaina Samuels, 10, and teaching assistant Sarah Catlin-Onyett

Ripe strawberries ripe

Working closely with Year 5 class teacher Hollie Brader and teaching assistant Sarah Catlin-Onyett, the pupils learned how to turn their freshly picked strawberries and beetroot into tasty condiments cooked up in the school kitchen.

“It is really good for city children to know where their food comes from, and the business enterprise aspect has been a fantastic learning experience,” said Ms Brader. “The children have absolutely loved it.”

Yousif Alsaadi, nine, from Avonmore Primary, explained his classmates had brainstormed to come up with inspiration for their hand-drawn labels, adding ‘it has been great to raise money for the school with our own business’.

Classmate Alaina Samuels, 10, said: “The most fun part was going to the farm as I loved to see what it was like as I have never been before. Going with my friends to pick strawberries was very fun.”

The taste of success

The buzzing sale on 7 July was the culmination of the Schools to Market programme run by charity School Food Matters, which saw hundreds of pupils across London devising mini food businesses.

The programme is a partnership between School Food Matters and the Whole Kids Foundation, the charitable organisation set up by Whole Foods Market in 2009.

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