School of Artisan Food

The high risk of a small business closing before the end of its first year has prompted The School of Artisan Food to invite budding food entrepreneurs to test their ideas before risking everything.

Described by Head of Business and Enterprise Yvonne O’Donovan as “more like a sympathetic Dragon’s Den”, The School of Artisan Food has launched a new Artisan Business Start-Up Certificate with courses opening from April 2018.

Based on the Welbeck Estate between Sheffield and Nottingham, the School’s course has five modules looking at everything from the operations of a food business to cash flow and finance. Each 3-day module runs over a weekend and is led by Yvonne O’Donovan who has guided numerous food business start-ups over the years, from across the UK and overseas. Students can choose which modules they want to take but are encouraged to complete the full course for an opportunity to pitch their business plan to a panel of experts during the final module.

“There’s a module I like to call ‘Show Me the Money,” says O’Donovan. “When people are dreaming of running their own food business they can become blinkered to business reality and we make sure they go into their new venture with their eyes open. We can help them avoid mistakes and realise their ambition.”

The School of Artisan Food already runs dozens of short courses to teach practical food skills and the UK’s only FDQ-accredited full-time Advanced Diploma in Baking. The new Artisan Business Start-Up Certificate delivers an intensive approach giving students the opportunity to test their ideas with experts before risking everything by going to market too soon.

“We get everyone from young people who have great ideas but are short of business experience, to those wanting a complete career change, to people who have a few apple trees in their garden and want to learn how to make their own cider. Starting up an artisan food business can be tremendously rewarding but even with the best ideas there are risks and it’s important to be well prepared so your dream doesn’t turn into a nightmare,” says Yvonne O’Donovan.

“The core foundation of all our business start-ups courses is ‘value with values’. The care, diligence and hand-crafted nature of artisan products and sustainable trade underpins our teaching.”


The School holds regular open days to find out more about the FDQ-accredited Advanced Diploma in Baking. For more information and upcoming dates, visit here.

By | 2018-02-01T16:48:03+00:00 February 1st, 2018|Blog, News|