Every year, as a part of the Diplomê in Patisserie, our students organise an event that they conceptualise from scratch. The event itself serves as a means of getting through which they get a complete hands-on experience of organising an event, getting all the logistics in place and executing it. At Lavonne, we strongly believe in the power of practical learning, and this is one of the ways in which we get our students to showcase their creative best.
This year’s batch organised the Bake Some Noise bake sale, and they ensured it wasn’t just another bake sale. This batch took it a step further and decided to use the proceeds from the event to support a good cause. The cause in question being Sparky Football, an organisation dedicated to spreading the love for sport, by providing underprivileged children with an opportunity to develop their sportsmanship skills, focusing exclusively on football.
A great initiative with a noble cause as inspiration to work for—it sounded like the perfect plan! But every plan requires a lot of effort that needs to go into making it perfect. And it wasn’t any different for the students—the learning process for them began right from the time teams were formed, with various responsibilities being delegated to each person. Getting the nuances of teamwork in place, the preparation for the bake sale began days before the actual event.
There was a lot of accounting, keeping track of deadlines, experimenting and zeroing in on the final products for the big day.
Each team focused on a particular set of products for the sale, and got to work creating the base ingredients for them as early as two days in advance.
The event also provided students with a unique environment in which they could bond with each other, and be exposed to each others’ unique working styles.
By the end of the two days of pre-sale preparation, the students had a fairly good idea of everyone’s core strengths and that knowledge went into assigning designations and tasks for the main event. All the pent-up nervous energy reached its crescendo on the day of the sale, but the students had all bases covered to ensure that the customer experience was nothing short of perfect.
The first step in providing that complete experience was the festive decorations they put up, complete with balloons and a photo booth, where all the happy customers could have a Polaroid photo taken. And while the venue for the sale was the familiar layout of Lavonne, the students managed to completely transform the space giving it a rather authentic bake sale feel.
Any event organised for the benefit of a children’s organisation wouldn’t be complete unless there was a lot of colour, a lot of cake and even more balloons. Those, along with a whole variety of food, becomes the dominant themes of the sale.
Inside the patisserie, the students worked on minute details right up until the time of opening, perfecting the presentation and layout, and getting into the mood for some friendly cross-counter competition. In a sense, this was also a test to see how they handled high-stress, demanding environments. Of course, we weren’t surprised at all when our students rose to the occasion.
And how! When the doors were finally opened to the public, our students were in position, ready to show the customers what they’d been working on tirelessly over the last couple of days. With the fantastic decor, lively music and variety of products to choose from, we knew the sale was going to attract attention. But the phenomenal success of the event surpassed even our expectations.
From a small number of trickling in during the early part of the afternoon, half-way through the event, Lavonne was packed with people, each one trying to get a taste of the different products displayed in different corners.
As the number of people kept growing, the students at each counter got busier and busier. Presenting a whole range of savoury items from quiches, pies, pizzas and tarts, to sinful sweets like chocolate cakes, banoffee pies, cake pops and swiss rolls, the students outdid themselves.
Of course, amidst all the hustle-bustle, the students also came up with an innovative way to keep the customers entertained—by inviting the children of Sparky Football to come over and showcase their fantastic football skills. It was the perfect way to show customers what a great cause they were helping support, by being a part of the bake sale.
But for us, it wasn’t just about the event being a resounding success. It was the manner in which our students planned and executed the whole event that gave us a feeling of satisfaction and also immense pride.
The real reward really was watching our students put forth their professional best, and handling the entire event with the ease of seasoned professionals.
The fact that their efforts were also benefitting a great cause just added the cherry on the cake.
By giving them the independence to organise an event by themselves, while providing them with as many challenging and demanding situations as we possibly can, we ensure that when they go out into the industry, they’re always a step ahead of the rest.