Cumnock Academy launch new barista bar project

A superb new barista coffee bar has opened at Cumnock Academy, offering a state of the art learning environment for pupils to learn valuable work skills.

Deja Brew is a school café bar where pupils can gain practical hospitality experience – and serve up a tasty fair Trade coffee as well!

Pupils working in the café and two of their teachers have already gained City and Guilds Level 1 certificates in Barista Skills from Miko in East Kilbride and all will receive ongoing training from Ayrshire College.

Ten pupils are taking part: Sophie Bell, Steven Boyd, Alex Brown, Liana Hume, Greg Richard, Lucas Robinson, Katlyn Rutherford, Hope Smith, Robbie Wallace and Kieran Wilson. The school’s barista staff are: Stephen Robson and Katie Maxwell.

Pupil Hope Smith said: “The project is a great opportunity for students like myself to learn new life skills that we could also use for future employment.”

Pupil Steven Boyd added: “The whole project has been a very unique and enjoyable experience for us in school this year.  As well as being great fun, it’s so nice to get such a positive response and genuine happiness from customers through providing them with a quality product.”

Councillor Fiona Campbell, East Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Skills and Learning said: “I’m delighted Developing the Young Workforce Ayrshire and the Prince’s Trust Scotland are continuing to make such an innovative and positive contribution to training in our schools.

“The hospitality sector is extremely important in East Ayrshire and school-based barista bars which offer practical real world skills are invaluable in giving our pupils a valuable head start in the world of work.

“Having visited Deja Brew for myself, I can also vouch for the professional service and a rather brilliant mug of freshly brewed coffee!”

Deja Brew is funded by Developing the Young Workforce Ayrshire and the Prince’s Trust Scotland Development Awards through the Scottish Government Young People Initiative and the Cash Back for Community Fund.

The project has also sourced local organic milk from Mossgiel Farm in Mauchline and their glass bottles help reduce environmental waste while offering customers superb fresh quality.

The launch was attended by families of the barista students, East Ayrshire Provost Jim Todd, Depute Provost Claire Leitch and Council officials.