At a Glance
During the 2021-2022 school year, Commercial Arts instructor, Anthony DeRosa, and Restaurant Trades instructor, Jennifer Price, partnered to create a real-life learning experience for their students. The Restaurant Trades students were challenged to create their own recipes for soups that would appeal to customers. The students then collaborated with the Commercial Arts students to create unique marketing materials, packaging and advertisements to sell the soup locally.
Students in the Restaurant Trades (RT) program created soup recipes and restaurant names/business proposals. The students then answered a questionnaire about demographic information relating to their mock restaurants and some cultural and historical information about each recipe. Students in the Commercial Arts (CA) program then utilized the information provided by RT to develop packaging and marketing materials following the process of design. After research and development was complete, students took their roughs and comps into the digital design software and using both raster and vector formatting, created and produced labels for soup containers to be sold commercially. Students had to research and learn about FDA requirements for labeling and packaging of food products, as well as follow current regulations in developing their ideas. Once their digital files were critiqued and approved, students then utilized a multitude of shop equipment to produce the packaging for their assigned restaurant, which included logos they designed leading up to this project. Once the 3D packaging was complete, CA continued the collaboration by returning to the RT shop, where students cooked the soups and filled the containers. The cooking process, ingredients, and finished soup were all photographed by the CA students during the process, reinforcing digital photography skills as well. The photographs were then utilized along with the digital graphics to produce marketing materials for the soups. The project concluded with the RT and CA students having a family-style feast of soups. All projects were put on display in the front of the school for the community to enjoy.
The impact of this project was significant for both the RT and CA students. In addition to building skills within their own industry, students in both shops learned how to work with clients and gained an understanding and appreciation for each other’s disciplines. Students in RT learned how to successfully market their culinary creations and how to research demographic information in developing a business model. CA students learned how to work directly with a commercial client, as well as laws and regulations involving food packaging. Another significant impact is the community aspect of how this project was executed. Students in both programs learned that it is only through teamwork and fellowship that great ideas come to life. Students in both programs got to wrap the project up by literally breaking bread together with a community meal. Both sides gained an appreciation and respect for each other, and the programs are currently broadening the partnership with a variety of new collaborations as a direct result of this project’s success.