Ahuroa nurtures next generation of entrepreneurs

The café was inspired by the playground activities of Tayla Heath (left) and Josie Taylor. Also pictured on sale day is Kiara Hardie.
The students are learning many life skills by operating the café and there is no shortage of customers ready to hand over a gold coin in exchange for a homemade biscuit or piece of cake.

There are plenty of willing workers at the Tipsy Turvy Café.

A pretend café in the school playground has morphed into the real thing at Ahuroa School.

Under the guidance of teacher Susan Morrow, the Tipsy Turvy Café operates on a Friday every three weeks and provides Years 2 to 4 students with a wide range of learning opportunities. Morrow says it is a great example of authentic, real world learning.

The café sells cakes and biscuits to fellow students, teachers and even some parents.

“The children are learning entrepreneurial skills and gaining financial literacy,” Morrow says.

This includes budgeting, balancing costs and profits, managing the start-up debt, managing credit by following up IOUs, marketing research, product design and redesign, visual merchandising and hospitality – catering, hygiene and customer relations.

The idea for the café was formed when Tayla Heath and Josie Taylor started mashing up fruit from their lunch boxes and selling them at a pretend café. Now designated as the Head Bakers, the girls have also designed and made their own aprons and headbands by re-purposing men’s shirts.

Morrow says nutrition plays an important role in the cafe and the children are preparing food that is sugar free or uses sugar alternatives, such as dates and coconut sugar. Some of the ingredients come from local farms and the plan is to extend the menu with fruit and vegetables, some from the school’s own garden, in summer.

“As a school we are excited to see how motivated the children are and how their interest in their innovation is being sustained,” Morrow says.

“The principal, Terry Taylor, is very much aware that financial literacy is a new direction that is being explored in education, and has encouraged the children to learn about this.”

The money raised will be used to build a child-designed, purpose-built cafe. Future money raised will be used to support other student-inspired projects in and around the school.

“The cafe is exciting for the school and the wider school community. School whanau are very supportive and encouraging of the cafe team.”

Ahuroa School has an enrolment of around 65 students.