After earning her certificate of culinary arts from Lorain County Community College in 2015, Nicole Spearman, 44, now owns her own catering company in Elyria. She’s proud to serve the community that helped her start her career.

The food-savvy North Ridgeville resident began working at Pink Peppercorn Catering Services during a summer externship through LCCC in 2014 and never left. On June 8, she bought the company from her former boss who had owned the business for 31 years.

Today she enjoys creating delicious meals, appetizers and desserts for local events and parties.

“The aha moment was when I catered for the Norton family in their home,” Spearman said. “It was a full-circle moment,” she said about working for the family of Ben and Jane Norton, for whom the Norton Culinary Arts Center on the LCCC campus is named after.

The Norton Culinary Arts Center was where Spearman honed her culinary skills while she was enrolled in the LCCC program.

Today the culinary arts program allows students to experience hands-on training serving the community by working in a real restaurant on campus, recently renamed “Sage and Seed.” This student-run restaurant is open January through April of spring semester.

For more information on the LCCC Culinary Arts program, visit www.lorainccc.edu/culinary.