Student Success Story – Sonia, Jasmine, Jan and Dimple at London Met University

Fabamallow Team DSC_0821 (for Success Story Article)
Sonia, Jasmine, Jan and Dimple, London Met

Studying at university enables you to explore a subject you love in more depth and enhance your qualifications.

Additionally, and crucially for London Met students, it can significantly improve your job prospects.

London Met offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate career-focused undergraduate and postgraduate programmes ranging from Architecture to Social Work. A lot of courses can be studied part-time so you can fit your studies into your busy life.

Many of London Met’s programmes give you professional accreditation. There is an array of other opportunities that can boost your employability, as this story of four Food Science students, who set up their own business, shows.

Thanks to the entrepreneurial opportunities offered by London Met, Sonia, Jasmine, Jan and Dimple cooked up Fabamallow, a delectable vegan, chocolate-covered marshmallow that’s winning both fans and awards. Together they won the Creative category in London Met’s 2018 Big Idea Challenge, an enterprise scheme run by the university’s business incubator, Accelerator

The students all have different academic backgrounds: Sonia, from Italy, had studied microbiology; Jasmine, from America, had a degree in Mathematics and a master’s in Abstract Algebra and previously worked as a pastry chef; Jan, from Ireland, had worked in the food and beverage industry and had a degree in nutrition and Dimple from Zimbabwe had a degree in History of Art and worked as a cake decorator. We spoke to them to find out a bit more about their innovative on-trend creation and how studying at London Met helped them achieve it.

How did you come up with the idea for Fabamallow?

We developed it as part of our module on product development. Jan had done an MSc thesis on Aquafaba, a by-product of the cooking process, which isn’t really marketed in the UK. We brought forward this idea, using Jan’s research, to come up with an aquafaba-based dessert, seeing as we have two pastry chefs on our team and a vegan. It’s a perfect mix of our backgrounds. 

Tell us a bit more about your course.

We loved the varied nature of the course. It was really interesting, particularly for those of us not coming from a science background, to be thrown into the microbiology and food analysis side. The staff have also been amazing and so supportive.

What is your best memory of your time at the university?

When they announced we had won the Big Idea Challenge. We’re very proud of the product we have created and are excited to develop it even further.

How supportive has London Met been?  

We’ve had so much support from staff, and Accelerator has helped us so much along the way. Their advice has been amazing and it’s made us think of Fabamallow on a larger scale and have a bigger idea of the product. Their support makes you believe and makes you feel like you can make it successful and commercialise it.

Tell us about your future plans.

Fabamallow Product Shot DSC_0528 (for Success Story Article)

We were shortlisted for Ecotrophelia UK, a national food innovation competition run by global food and drink innovation, research and technology organisation, Campden BRI. We came second place in the UK, which we’re delighted about. We want to take our product as far as possible. Through winning the Big Idea Challenge, we have also won a place on London Met’s summer Launchpad programme. It is a very active programme and will help us develop the business further.   

How has your experience at London Met equipped you for the future?

We really enjoyed the course. Because it is so well rounded, it gives you opportunities to pursue different routes into areas such as food safety, new product development or academia. It’s given us confidence and experience for the future. We’re sure we’ve made the right decision to study here.

There’s still time to change your future

Employability is key when choosing a course, so it’s worth considering programmes that offer professional accreditation and opportunities to improve your job prospects. 96.7 per cent of London Met’s 2017 graduates were in employment or further study within six months, according to the most recent Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey.

It’s not too late to apply for an undergraduate or postgraduate programme. Visit londonmet.ac.uk to find out more, or call 020 7133 4200 to talk to London Met’s friendly course enquiries team.