Sixth formers’ winning kitchen idea is a chop above the rest

Sixth formers from Sydenham High have served up a top kitchen idea that’s a chop above the rest for their entry in this year’s Young Enterprise scheme.

IMG_0564Chop Away gets the thumbs up from Sydenham High’s catering team. Left to right: Lauren Hare, Ella Traynor, chef Susan McMahon, Biba Coulter-Young, Melissa Policane, Catering and Hospitality Manager John Pearson, and Lola Cookman.

Lola, Jana, Melissa, Ella, Biba and Lauren, all in Year 12, with their team colleagues at Dulwich College, have developed an innovative chopping board that solves the perennial kitchen problem of separating prepared food from waste.

Made from anti-bacterial plastic, the ChopAway board has a detachable bowl to catch food waste for easy disposal.  It fits neatly over the edge of any worktop and has non-slip feet to prevent movement.

The innovative board has already helped the team become Central London finalists in the national Young Enterprise competition.  It has also won the approval of Sydenham High’s catering team, who have ordered four of the chopping boards to help them prepare the school’s meals.

Chopaway boardsThe team came up with the idea of a chopping board with extra functionality after experiencing food preparation issues in their home kitchens. Having tried various different solutions, they hit on the concept of a detachable section. Prototypes were commissioned and market research conducted with friends and family plus Christmas fairs where the team tested product appeal and price points before a deal was struck with a supplier. The team raised the initial funds to pay for their stock by face painting at events and selling decorated T-shirts and sweets.

The Chopaway board.

“It’s been an amazing experience – from getting our initial funding to commissioning the prototypes and haggling with the manufacturer for the best deal to pitching our product in front of top business people in the Young Enterprise heats,” said Lauren Hare, who is ChopAway’s joint-sales director (pictured far left). “We’ve all learned a lot along the way including working in a team. And we’re really proud of our product and seeing people use it.”

“I’m incredibly proud of the team and what they have achieved,” said Sydenham High’s new Headmistress Mrs Katharine Woodcock. “Not only have they come up with an exciting and marketable business idea, they have been learning key skills which will prepare them for future employment.”

ChopAway has used social media – Twitter and Instagram – as well as a website to promote their clever product.  They have also taken stands at trade fairs, shopping centres and markets such as Spitalfields.

The ChopAway board comes in a choice of four bright colours: blue, green, pink or yellow.  Priced at £11.99, it is available to order online from www.chopaway.co.uk  Follow them on Twitter: @Chopaway_


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