Some home-education learners shy away from subjects such as Dramatic Arts, Agricultural Sciences, Hospitality Studies, etc. because they are worried that they will not be able to complete the practical components at home. But that should not be the case. Impaq (a curriculum provider) caught up with twins, Armand and Juan Potgieter, who successfully completed Hospitality Studies through home education. They spoke to us about their passion for baking and starting their own business.
Armand and Juan have been home educated since Grade 4 and completed their matric in 2017. They made use of Impaq’s products and services, and visited a tutor centre to help them with their studies. They thoroughly enjoyed the freedom home education afforded them. “We could work ahead and that’s the reason we could get time to bake and follow our passion.” They also found it easy to complete their practical assessment tasks (PATs) for Hospitality Studies as they could bake in the comfort of their own home.
In Grade 10, the twins participated in a chef competition at Pro Arte Alphen Park to test their skills. “This was the first time we cooked in a commercial kitchen and we also got to make friends during the competition, which was very nice.”
Armand and Juan started their own business, Bakery Co., in Polokwane earlier this year, serving unique cakes, cupcakes and macaroons. They get inspiration for their one-of-a-kind creations from Pinterest and Instagram but they always add their own special touch to an idea. “Most of our cakes and cupcakes are decorated in-the-moment when Juan decides that the cake needs nuts or caramel or chocolate.”
Gravity Defying Paintbrush Cake
Starting their own business did, however, come with some challenges. The twins explained that they once had to bake a cake and 180 doughnuts for a wedding. Only on their way to the venue did they realise that they had the date wrong; the wedding was still a week away. They decided to give the specially made doughnuts that included Nutella hazelnut, blueberry cheesecake, chocolate and orange, to an orphanage. “Thinking about it now, it is quite a funny story that we will definitely be telling again.”
Their plans for the future include finding the winning recipe for their coffee shop in order to open more shops across the country. “We want everyone to be able to eat the best cakes of their lives (and don’t worry about getting fat we also have a banting-friendly series).” Their advice to other young entrepreneurs is to work hard and follow their dreams. “With hard work, lots of coffee and the right attitude you can overcome anything that’s in your way.”
Armand and Juan serve as a great example that practical subjects cannot only be successful through home education but that it can also create job opportunities for learners.