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Bringing baked goods to Mills

Bakers and foodies alike can now immerse themselves into the art of baking thanks to the newly founded club on campus.

Lauren Martin (right) sits at the Mills Baking Club's table at the annual Block Party. (Bridget Stagnitto)

Transfer student Lauren Martin initially started the club because of her passion for baking, which flourished even before she joined the Mills community.

“I interned this past summer at a bakery because I’ve really liked baking for a while,” Martin said. “I took some classes at Santa Rosa Junior College and it’s just a big interest for me. So I started a food blog last year and I was having a lot of fun with it.”

However, transitioning to a college campus proved to be tough for Martin, who realized that she did not have the space she needed to continue her hobby.

“I thought, ‘Well, maybe there’s someone else who would want to share a kitchen with me and we can work together,’” Martin said. “So that just expanded into the idea of starting a club.”

Martin wants the club to be a forum for members who want to share ideas, make suggestions for baking, and teach lessons amongst themselves.

“I had someone tell me, ‘I’d love to teach this,’” Martin said. “One woman said, ‘I’d love to teach how to make these beautiful chocolate butterflies’ — like lacy cake toppers out of chocolate. People can just come and teach a workshop on it.”

The club will cater to people of all diets, including vegans and vegetarians. Martin explained that she will be accommodating to anyone who joins the club and has explained this to potential members.

“I’m vegetarian, not vegan, but if someone wants to do something with meat in it, I’ll say, ‘Okay, we’ll do that,’” Martin said.

As of Jan 27, the club has no set meeting date or time. Members will vote between Thursdays at 5 p.m. and Fridays at 4 p.m.

“A lot of the commuters are interested in Thursdays, but it seems almost equal right now, so I figured the only way to do it is by a vote,” Martin said. “Which I feel really bad about, because I want everyone to be able to participate, but maybe later on, we could have it on two days to accommodate everyone.”

For some, baking can have therapeutic purposes. Sabrina Soto,  sophomore, plans to utilize the club for that purpose.

“I use it as a stress reliever and being in college is stressful, so this acts as an outlet for my stress,” Soto said.

Though the club is focused primarily on baking, it will not be limited to making baked goods in the kitchen. In an email Martin sent to the club’s mailing list, organized trips to bakeries, farmer’s markets, and chocolate factories might be part of the plan, along with “foodie film nights.”

Samantha Curran, sophomore, will be joining the club because of her love for baking.

“I don’t have the space to do it in my dorm, so to be able to be with other people who are interested in it and want to do it is a fabulous thing,” Curran said.