Family inspired “Gin’s” love of good food

 In Business

Aryn Ashley has been making a name for herself as a baker, even though you may not be able to put a face to the business name.
For her online baking persona she goes by her childhood nickname of Gin, as in Gin’s Kitchen. It’s meaningful because she is named after her grandmother Virginia, who really inspired her love of creating homemade food.
Ashley remembers her grandma Virginia always wearing an apron and always having something in the cookie jar, or in a milk bag in the freezer. Ashley has special memories of her peanut butter cookies and her pie.
“She was a master with pastry, which not all people are,” said Ashley.
Her love of pastry and dough have inspired her to create a popular cardamom bun, custard pies, quiche, and a gin-soaked raisin butter tart, a creative play on her name.
Ashley has fond memories of baking with both of her grandmas and her mother and is now making more memories with her own two children, who also love to bake.
“My whole family, we love to cook and bake,” she said. “I grew up around it and have worked in and around the food industry for a long time.”
To her, the kitchen is home and she embraces that appreciation for home cooked food with good quality ingredients.
“When I think back to all of my childhood memories, it always involves good food with everybody around the table, together,” said Ashley.
During the pandemic she started posting photos of her culinary creations on a profile created just for that purpose, and it has taken off. She started getting custom orders and forming partnerships with other businesses, developing recipes for the Gorgeous Spice Company, weekly feature cakes for Chez Michel and special orders for the Sequel Inn. She hopes to form more partnerships, but is keeping in mind that this is a side project to the plumbing business she operates with her husband, Nathan.
Ashley said her cakes are the mainstay of her business and always have a little something unexpected, whether it’s a bit of crunch with a crumble layer, a pretzel crumb, or a filling.
“There’s so many people in the industry that I draw inspiration from but then I put my own spin on it,” she said.
Sometimes she asks people for their favourite candy or chocolate bar as a springboard for a flavour palette inspiration, such as s’mores, with chocolate ganache, graham crumb and marshmallow fluff, which are all homemade.
“I love collaborating with people,” said Ashely. “Because food is so nostalgic for me, I love creating those memories for people. I love talking with people and coming up with ideas. No two cakes are ever really the same.”
The only thing she can’t do, She warns, is write on cakes, saying whenever she does it looks terrible, so she has given up on that.
For orders, contact Ashley via Instagram or Facebook @gininthekitchen, or by email at arynva@live.ca.

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