Martin Barnett came to Canada in 1977. Following his lifelong love of bread, Martin immersed himself in the emerging natural foods movement in Victoria, BC. Rising Star Wholefoods Bakery, (originally incorporated as a Workers’ Cooperative) became his home for 20 years, expanding to three outlets operated by a close-knit group of family and friends.
After selling the bakery, Martin went to work in the Pastry Shop at the Fairmont Empress Hotel, studying for the Provincial Instructors’ Diploma at the same time. When an opportunity arose to teach at Vancouver Island University, he embraced the opportunity wholeheartedly.
During his time as head of the Professional Baking and Pastry Department at VIU, Martin has instructed and inspired many students. Martin’s global outlook helped to put the department on the international map; he includes among his colleagues many expert artisan bakers from around the world.
Martin is a journeyman Red-Seal baker, Certified Bakery Specialist and is a board director of the Baking Association of Canada. His favorite baking includes whole-grain, fresh milled sourdoughs and of course anything that he can bake in his wood-fired brick oven!
While Martin has retired from his job at VIU, his plan is to continue to develop training courses, inspiring and teaching with his talented associates at ‘Seraphina’s Oven’, a community home-based bakery.