Hot in the Dragon’s Den….but ice cream helps!

As part of a recent series of workshops on employability skills for our Year 12 students, Maldon District Council were delighted to host a Dragon’s Den competition in Plume College…fitting- as it coincided with one of the hottest days of the year.

Students had the challenging task of creating a new ice cream product associated with Maldon reflecting the traditions, the history, or the distinctiveness of the district.

We were delighted to welcome our Dragons, who generously gave up their time to spend time with our students and share advice, practical considerations and the business realities of developing and getting a new product to market.

Many thanks must go to Paul Wormald and Vicky Broomfield (Berry Global), Rhiain Oakley (Tesco Community Champion), Jack Ellum ( Maldon District Council) and “Dragon-in-Chief” Nigel Richardson. Nigel, representing Rossi Ice Cream, introduced the task to the students…along with the added bonus of ice cream sampling at the end of the challenge!

What a group of budding entrepreneurs and inventive minds we have at Plume Academy!

Each group presented their “pitch” to the Dragons and then faced the customary close questioning.

Ideas ranged from ice cream linked to our maritime heritage right through to a space themed ice cream paying homage to Sam Ryder, our local Eurovision Song Contest entrant.

The winning group presented an ingenious product based around healthy eating, referencing Byrhtnoth and the history of Maldon. (You may see it for sale at Maldon Prom one day!).


The winners shared a substantial prize and received an invitation to spend a day at Rossi’s ice cream factory.

As all cooled down with ice cream generously supplied by Nigel Richardson, the judges complimented our students on their team work, preparation, research, presentation and their ability to speak confidently – all highly valued skills.

This competition is part of Plume Academy’s “Made in Maldon” project. This is a community employer engagement programme, designed to link potential employers with our students through various platforms, including this type of challenge, careers fairs and other business forums that we run locally throughout the year.

For further details of this project please contact:

Chris Barton

Brian Collen