Erin Hill has been making a living in the kitchen since she was an 18 year-old freshly graduated from high school. She began her career with pastry bag in hand, decorating cakes at Continental Pastries in Battle Creek. It didn’t take her long to realize that her path lay in the field of Culinary Arts, so she enrolled at Grand Rapids Community College and began her pursuit of the life she wanted.
A Battle Creek native, Erin’s first job upon graduation took her across the pond to Scotland, where she worked as Commis Chef at the Gleneagles Hotel. Upon her return to Michigan Erin worked at a number of restaurants and bakeries before becoming her own boss when she opened The Bakewell Company in 2009.
Erin began accompanying her family to the Springfield Farmers’ Market where they had been selling their pasture-raised meat for years. She started offering homemade quiches created using fresh ingredients from her family’s farm at their stall and was thrilled by the enthusiastic response of market-goers. Very quickly Erin recognized that there was a real market for her delicious quiches and soon The Bakewell Company was born.
The Bakewell Company now sells quiches, as well as pot pies and tarts, at Farmer’s Markets across southwest Michigan and has met with great success. Erin works hard to create fresh new recipes that rely heavily on local and seasonal ingredients. In fact, the creative side of the business is her favorite and she loves the challenge of not only coming up with new combinations, but figuring out the best way to execute them. She also truly enjoys the daily process of taking quality whole ingredients and transforming them into food that is as comforting as it is delicious.
Family is everything to Erin. She is one of four children, all of whom still live in the Battle Creek area. She loves spending time with her friends and family and, when she’s not in the kitchen, she enjoys doing small projects on the house she bought from her grandparents in 2015. She loves the fact that the house, located in Climax, has been in her family since 1886. The history of the home and being part of its continuing story of family is precious to her. When she’s not whipping up a new quiche flavor or working on a home improvement project she can be found watching the Big Bang Theory and historical dramas of all kinds.
Q&A with Erin
DESCRIBE YOUR “PERFECT” DAY OFF.
Sleep in, work around the house, cook something non-work related, & maybe spend some time outside.
IF GIVEN THE CHANCE TO TALK TO THE 16 YEAR OLD VERSION OF YOU, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL HER?
That there are all kinds of career opportunities out there for someone passionate about the culinary arts…not just what you see on Food Network.
WHICH CAUSE IS CLOSEST TO YOUR HEART?
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Seeing what others are doing with food…in restaurants, farmer’s markets and online. That…and watching various fruits and vegetables coming into season and imagining how I could use them.
Erica Shier is a married mother of four who loves reading, scrapbooking & thrift stores. When she’s not driving her small pack of children around, she spends her time volunteering, writing & trying to keep on top of the laundry.