26 April 2023
Mrs Maria Young, Director of Higher Education and Careers
On Monday 24 April, two teams of Lower Sixth students impressed the leadership team from Squerryes Winery with their responses to two challenging real-world business briefs – the culmination of Woldingham’s annual business partnership.
This year, we were delighted to work in partnership with Westerham-based Squerryes, which operates an award-winning winery, restaurant and deli. The family motto of owner Henry Warde is ‘Licet esse beatis’ (‘It is permitted to be joyful’) and Squerryes told our students that the company is ‘in the business of creating joy’ with its delicious food and wine and also through enjoyment of the company’s beautiful estate. Squerryes is seeking to grow an authentic sense of ‘terroir’: of connecting with the local community and belonging to the local land.
After visiting the estate, the 15 students, who all successfully applied to take part, worked with the Squerryes team over two months to address the following business issues:
How does Squerryes use the land adjacent to the Westerham Valley site to demonstrate its sustainability drive to the local community and make its aims more tangible? Squerryes’ six pledges are access, ecology, community, flooding, terroir and carbon.
How does the company encourage visitors (both local and regional) to Westerham Valley, specifically Squerryes Estate deli and Squerryes restaurant, during the ‘off season’?
It was clear from both teams’ presentations on Monday that they had conducted a great deal of research and striven to ensure that all their ideas were closely linked to Squerryes’ ethos and aims.
Henry Warde praised the students not only for their exceptional ideas and concept-creation, but also the confidence and strength of their delivery. He gave some great advice that the secret to a persuasive presentation is to be authentically yourself and to believe in yourself and your ideas. He also said how strongly the students’ ideas resonated with him, and we can be sure that some of these will be implemented shortly.
This has been a super opportunity for our students to gain real-life experience of working on a business project, acquiring the crucial skills and experience that employers are always seeking. We are hugely grateful to the team at Squerryes for giving us this project, particularly Woldingham alumna Emma Hull, Squerryes’ Wine and Membership Manager.