A few weeks ago the market team headed down to Portage to visit Erin Hill at The Bakewell Company. We arrived right at the start of their day, when crusts are being made and the oven is being heated. The Bakewell Company only recently moved into their new commercial kitchen space, but Erin attended culinary school and has been baking quiches for markets since 2009.

It all started when both she and her dad lost their jobs and thought they would give working at markets full time a try.  Her parents operate Pleasant Hill Farms, and you may have seen them around the market circle the past few years. In fact, Erin used to operate under the name Pleasant Hill, but changed to The Bakewell Company after working at a hotel in Scotland. The name comes from a small town in England, known for an almond filled tart of the same name that Erin occasionally sells at market.

Where do you source your ingredients?

I try to thoughtfully source from as many market vendors as I can, and have the best relationships with those in Kalamazoo, such as Scobey’s, Crisp Country Acres, and Green Gardens. Trent from Green Gardens also sells our quiches, and we are working on creating an ingredient schedule for use throughout the summer. My parents supply most of our meat.

*According to Market Manager Chris, he’ll often notice a new produce item pop up one weekend, and by next it’s in Erin’s quiches.

What’s the best way to prepare a quiche?

Bake it. The crust is always best when baked, although I’ve been known to use the microwave when in a rush.

What’s the most popular item on the menu?

We have over 40 recipes, but Goat Cheese with Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper sells best.

What’s your favorite flavor?

My personal favorite is the Sausage, Cheddar, and Chive.
*Market managers can’t wait for Asparagus with Bacon and Gruyere

How many quiches do you make in a week?

During the summer we’ll get 2,000 baked a week. All are rolled out and
made by hand, although we did just get a new crust-pressing machine that should make the day easier!

What’s next for The Bakewell Co.?

I’m working on opening a storefront in Battle Creek with my sister. We will sell ready to eat quiche, potpies, side salads, and soups.

It’s safe to say that Erin has found her niche with quiche. Look for Bakewell at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market in the courtyard every Saturday!