Thursday, 13 February 2014

Fun Learning at the Entrepreneurial Chocolate Factory

Learning REALLY can be FUN !  Just ask the Royal Holloway MSc Entrepreneurship students, they know. 

Tasting warm chocolate-which to choose dark, milk or white ?

Pick your decorations YUM !

Experiential learning is a central tenant of MBA Director Justin O'Brien's approach to bringing alive the theoretical concepts taught in his Entrepreneurial Marketing module on the Royal Holloway MSc Entrepreneurship.   

Looking for innovative ways to bring across not only the important, traditional elements of marketing Justin sought to introduce this years cohort of students to Keith from The Chocolate Factory, a new business start up situated in the heart of Windsor's pedestrianized shopping precinct.    Keith is a serial entrepreneur with interests in a number of business. 

Keith explains how to make chocolate

During the hands on workshop he explained to the students that his inspiration for this particular business idea had been enjoying a similar offering whilst on holiday in Spain with a group of family and friends. Whilst a keen foodie (he appeared in the BBC series 'masterchef' a few years back) with a self-acclaimed palette for flavours, Keith knew little about the serious business of chocolate, although he has hired two chocolatier/pastry chef professionals.

Food hygiene rules require fashionable head gear to be worn by everyone

Co-ordinated Popping Candy - great fun !

Rosie's winning design

Those of you of a certain age may remember 'space dust', we were given a large container full of industrial quality popping crystals.  What fun as we all popped a small handful in our mouths and listened to an orchestra (of sorts) as popping sounds came out of our mouths.

Having explained the history of chocolate consumption, which dates back to Mayan times, Keith showed students how to make their own 100g chocolate bars, using three bar moulds and a variety of colourful ingredients. 

'520' in Mandarin means "I Love You"

The part retail, part experiential 'factory' attracts a variety of customers, including walk ins looking to enjoy a hand made chocolate experience, special orders (a 2kg Darlek was waiting for one of the series writers) including bespoke company Easter eggs, childrens parties on the weekends and evening workshops for adults, a concept that is also popular for Stag and Hen parties.  Sometimes they even allow University students to participate !

Owner Keith's winning bars

Thanks to Keith for sharing his entrepreneurial insights -