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Rise Up! #110 - Martin Barnett started his baking journey in a van. What a trip!

Martin Barnett at his backyard brick oven

When Martin Barnett came to Canada in his 20’s, one of the first things he did was buy an old van. That way, he had a tool to help him ‘earn his crust.’ Well, he has certainly earned it!

Over the years, Martin went from using his van to pick up supplies for a food co-op, to baking at the co-op to buying the co-op’s bakery. He didn’t stop there either: he went on to become a teacher, helping to turn the baking program at Vancouver Island University into one of the best in Canada.

We talk about the whole arc, or as much as we could pack into an hour. And through it all, Martin’s generosity keeps coming through. He’s a real connector and he insists on spreading the credit around.

There’s one moment in the talk where he forgets the name of the person who came to VIU “cheque in hand” to help support the program. Before we ended the call, he remembered and insisted that I mention how Garry Humphries took that first important step.

We only scratched the surface, but it was a mighty scratch. Martin’s an inspiration to me - an example of the wide variety of roles one can play in this wonderful industry. Baker, owner, teacher, organizer, friend. What a guy. You’re going to love this talk.