Harvey drops calculator for whisk in home baking endeavor

Harveys small business Ginger Ninja Bakes specializes in baked goods, such as macaroons and cakes.

Shannon Harvey

Harvey’s small business “Ginger Ninja Bakes” specializes in baked goods, such as macaroons and cakes.

Sarah Craft, Staff Writer

During quarantine, Math teacher Shannon Harvey began an at-home baking business, called Ginger Ninja Kitchen, where she produces customizable treats such as cinnamon buns and birthday cake.

One of the major things that Harvey learned over the months of quarantine was how to bake from scratch.

“I have always baked box cakes and stuff like that at home, but I would say during quarantine I actually started baking and trying to learn more,” Harvey said.

Harvey first fell in love with baking because of the sweets she created, but found a deeper reason as she got more skilled in the activity.

“I like to eat the things that I bake,” Harvey said. “I think that was the motivation from the beginning. It continues because baking is so science and math-based but it is also a creative outlet and a way for me to zone out. I can put on music and dance in the kitchen and not think about everything else.”

When creating her business, Harvey chose the name “The Ginger Ninja Kitchen” as a fun way to attach her heritage to her business.

“I am a ginger and I am a quarter Japanese, so people calling me a ginger ninja has always been a joke,” Harvey said.

Harvey looked to create a unique design to represent her business as it grew, and she asked a former Clover Hill student to make Ginger Ninja Kitchen’s logo.

“I commissioned her because I knew of her art, I liked her art and style, and she knew me really well,” Harvey said. “I was like ‘here’s my ideas, and this is what I want,’ and she did it. It is pretty perfect.” 

Harvey’s favorite things to bake for both Ginger Ninja kitchen and herself are those that provide relaxation and produce treats that she loves.

“I really like to make stuff with yeast dough because I like kneading the dough; I think it is therapeutic,” Harvey said.“I also like to make cookies because I like to eat them.”

Harvey finds baking pastries to be one of the most difficult items to perfect.

“Macarons, in general, are pretty difficult and that is probably the trickiest thing I have ever done. I have also made some other pastries, like I made starbread, and that was also somewhat hard.” 

While Harvey has continued to learn about baking, she has collected some tips for beginning bakers.

“Weigh your ingredients as opposed to using measuring cups. And find a blog that you like, like I found a really good blogger and I tried her recipes that I ended up really liking and reading stuff from there I thought was really helpful. I’ve learned a lot from reading different websites.”

Ginger Ninja Kitchen thrives as Harvey continues to create and experience different baked goods. The business has a presence on social media with an Instagram account (@gingerninjakitchen)  that has nearly 250 followers. If you would like to place a custom order for any of her treats, you can email [email protected].