School of Business and Law

Inspiring journeys to work

BBS undergraduates get creative with a local business

As part of their Creativity in Enterprise module, Brighton Business School first year undergraduates took on the role of business consultants with David Sewell, owner of Pavilion Gardens Cafe, a local business that has an eighty-year history in the city.

David Sewell (Left) and Paul Levy (Right)

David Sewell (Left) and Paul Levy (Right)


Located at the west end of the Royal Pavilion Gardens Estate in the centre of Brighton, owner-manager David shared the history of this family-owned business and posed a practical challenge to the students – to explore how the business can find a balance between its popular traditional brand and ensuring it is a modern, responsive, proactive enterprise.

Students made use of some of the creative problem tools they had learned on the module and developed practical and innovative ideas and recommendations for David to take away.

Using one of the creative problem solving tools


According to David: “This was a very useful session. Some of the ideas confirm we are doing the right things; others I hadn’t thought of and will certainly be considering.”

David working with each group


Our students were highly engaged during the session and pleased to put what they have learned so far into practice. At the end of each of the three group sessions David invited students to visit the cafe and to try one of the cafe’s legendary rock cakes, baked to a secret family recipe for over half a century!

Each group generated different ideas


David believes the business has been thriving for nearly a century because it has never departed from its traditional values of friendly customer service, using local suppliers and encouraging customers to see the cafe as a community space in the heart of a busy city. Yet the business is also open the change and innovation. The visit was an example of how local enterprises can work with our students who bring fresh, creative perspectives and thoughts that disrupt for all the right reasons.

The sessions were led by Paul Levy. According to Paul: “Pavilion Gardens Cafe is a place I often go to write. Our students demonstrated some fine creativity and I look forward to seeing what changes the cafe will make.”

This innovative module Creativity in Enterprise is also delivered by Midgie Thompson, David Foster and Jose Christian and covers both theory and skills of Creativity in an Enterprise context.

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Paul Levy • January 16, 2020

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