From food student to successful bakery lecturer

Alumnus Sam Copeland took her passion for baking back to the classroom on completing her food technology degree at Reaseheath. Here’s a little insight into her  journey into teaching…

Said Sam: “My passion for baking began at an early age, all starting whilst working as a trainee chef. With my culinary knowledge growing, a friend asked if I could create an engagement cake and I jumped at the opportunity. Gaining some excellent feedback on the cake caught, I the bakery buzz and spent the next few years continuing to learn new techniques and tips before setting up my own cake decorating business, working from home to fit around my ever growing family.”

Sam, now mother of three, balanced her career and family life working full-time as a Catering Manager alongside her own business. When expecting her third baby, Elisabeth, at 20 weeks into the pregnancy she was given the unfortunate news that her baby would be born with Spina bifida.

Sam went on to say: “Before Elisabeth was born I made the decision to become a full-time mum, a stark change from running my own pub and various roles in the catering industry. However, despite her disability, Elisabeth defied the odds and proceeded to attend mainstream nursery and is currently excelling in a mainstream school, Brierley Primary, which is in Crewe.”

With a little unexpected time on her hands, Sam set her sights returning to education to broaden her knowledge and skill-set in her passion, food. On researching various courses, Sam found that Reaseheath’s food technology foundation degree fitted the bill for her perfectly.

Sam further commented: “I fitted my studies around attending Alder Hey Children’s Hospital with Elisabeth for her appointments and operations. Sometimes I would even take my assignments to do by her bedside whilst she recovered from surgery.”

Excelling during the course, Sam went on to achieve a distinction in her Foundation Degree in 2010 and as a result chose to continue her studies at Reaseheath, graduating with a 2:1 BSc (Hons) Food Technology in 2012. 10 months after graduating, Sam was thrilled to be offered a role within the Food Department at Reaseheath. She now course manages Level 2 bakery and patisserie students along with teaching bakery theory, and her favourite – the cake decorating modules!

Said Sam: “The encouragement and pastoral support I received from my tutors gave me the confidence to truly believe I could achieve my degree, it  made me realise just what a special place Reaseheath really is.”

If you’re inspired by Sam’s story and interested in finding out more about studying food related degrees at Reaseheath, take a look at our website

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