New VIU program will combine baking knowledge with business management

VIU baking and pastry arts students making fruit tarts. || Photo credit: Vancouver Island University

Vancouver Island University (VIU) will launch a new program to give baking students the skills they need to run their own business, starting this August.

The baking and pastry arts management program combines advanced bakery instruction with business planning and financial management training.

“Many of our graduates from the baking certificate program go on to start their own businesses,” said Rita Gower, chair of the professional baking and pastry arts program. “That can be risky. It’s not enough to be really good at baking, you need a whole different skill set to thrive at being an entrepreneur.”

In the first year, students will learn baking fundamentals, such as operating commercial kitchen appliances, pastry making, bread-making techniques, creating wedding cakes, baking in a wood-fired brick oven and chocolate working techniques. 

In the second year, students will take business courses, such as human resource administration, accounting and marketing, as well as plan and open a ‘pop-up’ bakery. Both first and second year students will participate in a paid 10-week cooperative work placement.

“We are excited to offer this comprehensive program,” said Gower. “We are responding to industry demand for competent graduates who are ready to start working in commercial kitchens and we listened to what our students are saying. They need to embrace rising into a management position or operating their own business.”

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