Student Stories: Erin Martin

Erin Martin

Major: Baking and Pastry Arts

Erin Martin’s journey started with a simple joy for baking.

“I loved the idea of creating something from scratch that was delicious and beautiful,” she said. “I also wanted to taste interesting and high quality baked goods that I wasn't finding in the cafes and stores near me.” 

Martin looked at several options for culinary school before selecting College of DuPage because it was customizable, affordable and accessible.

“I was able to pay for it myself while working in the field, I was able to attend at my own pace and it was close to where I was living,” she said. “It was such a great combination of getting experience as well as working in a classroom environment that prepared me for my career.”

ECBG Cake Studio

After earning her certificate in Baking and Pastry Arts, Martin continued as a cake decorator and baker in the industry as well as on her own. A year later, her employer helped her to start ECBG Cake Studio.

“They also provided me a professional shared kitchen space to work out of,” she said. “After that, it was all about advertising, marketing, promoting and hustling to bring my business to my target audience. I knew once they knew me, they would buy from me, and once they bought from me, they would love me! A huge part of that has been social media marketing. I enjoy connecting with my audience in a way that harbors love, comfort, trust, strength, beauty—all things that are encompassed in my branding.”

I am so grateful for the instructors and friends I met (at COD) and value the skills I learned. It’s a lot of hard work, but it is fulfilling as well.

Erin Martin

In 2021, Martin purchased a permanent space for Cake Studio in West Town in Chicago, where she quadrupled her capacity and went from making about 70 wedding cakes a year to about 250 wedding cakes annually. She now focuses on training her 10 staff members, increasing her profit margin and making a bigger impact as a main player in the city of Chicago.

She credits COD for providing the education she needed to accomplish this goal.

“I loved COD as a starting point and look back fondly on my time there,” she said. “I was able to learn so many tricks of the trade, kitchen culture, teamwork, skills, techniques and discipline I would not have otherwise learned. I am so grateful for the instructors and friends I met there and value the skills I learned. It’s a lot of hard work, but it is fulfilling as well. 

“I always encourage people to look into College of DuPage. I absolutely loved my experience there. The facilities are beautiful and you'll receive a great education!”

Learn more about the Baking and Pastry Arts program at College of DuPage