Being one of Canada's top culinary programs, Calgary's Southern Alberta Institute of Technology continuously adds programs to their educational repertoire, now offering a one year program for budding entrepreneurs in the food world. Open to post-graduates of SAIT's other culinary diploma programs and to individuals with more than five years industry experience (pending approval), the Entrepreneurial post-diploma program will see a group of students working in a brand new facility in downtown Calgary that will provide them with a foundation for starting their own businesses, be it a bakery, a specific line of products, a restaurant (of course) or other.
"While these students are operating the stations, they will be studying the business within them and practicing positions like general manager, finance manager, marketing manager, human resource manager...In addition to these business courses they will take additional courses in leadership and, of course, entrepreneurship," explains Patricia Koyich, who co-instructs this first-of-its-kind Canadian program with chef Michael Mandato, a recent transplant from New York City.
While these students spend a year rotating through the different environments within the building during the curriculum, the benefits to a patron are many. The Tastemarket boasts a quick service counter serving dishes like ramen and gourmet sandwiches and a bakeshop/patisserie set-up. As well, there is a charcuterie and wine bar-style concept tucked into the northwest corner of the room. Baked goods and cured meats are all purchased from SAIT's main campus in Calgary's Northwest and are 100 per cent student-made.