With the right foundations, you can build a business…

Posted on the 16th April 2018

Since launching our Foundation Certificate in Vegetarian and Vegan Cooking in 2017, we’ve welcomed an incredible number of people through our doors – every one of them eager to develop their veggie skills, but for a variety of different reasons.

Designed for those who want to master the essentials of good vegetarian and vegan cooking in a fun and friendly atmosphere, this experience is an opportunity to become a more confident cook – and pick up loads of amazing ideas and recipes at the same time.

Many come to hone their talents in the hopes of opening a veggie food business themselves. One of our former students who arrived with exactly this passion is Carmel Proctor – and she has gone on to make it a reality.

Foundation Certficate in Vegetarian and Vegan Cooking Vegetarian Society Cookery School
Carmel Proctor (left) and her sister Clair McEvilly

In just a few months, Carmel and her sister Clair have already opened Plant Vegan Café in Formby, just north of Liverpool, and she says the Foundation Certificate in Vegetarian and Vegan Cooking really helped her on her way.

“Booking on the Foundation Certificate in Vegan and Vegetarian Cooking was a big part of my preparations for opening a vegan café. I’d always been a keen cook but was relatively new to vegan cooking and opening a café was a complete career change for me, having never even worked in the food industry before,” said former childcare lawyer, Carmel.

“I hoped that the course would help focus my mind on what I needed to do, and I was not disappointed, the course surpassed all of my expectations. The course was enormously helpful and I would recommend it to anyone, whatever their current level of cooking ability, who is interested in learning about vegan and/ or vegetarian food.”

The foundation course is structured in such a way that you can opt to do entirely vegan cooking if you wish, which is what Carmel did.

“The course provided me with an essential tool kit for vegan cooking. It has provided me with confidence to go away and cook on my own, not just to follow recipes but to use the skills learnt on the course to develop my own recipes too.”

Carmel told our tutors at the start of the course about her plans to open a vegan café, so the learning could be tailored to what she needed. Carmel said: “They were very generous with their time in discussing menus with me and answering any question I threw at them!

“You can spend hours reading every recipe book going or watching YouTube videos, but there is no substitute for the practical knowhow you’ll pick up on this course.”

Carmel and her sister are continuing to develop the menu at Plant Vegan Café, and are looking to incorporate a raw food section of the menu in the future.

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