Where food meets art, you will find Southold-based baker Jess Dunne.
The red-headed 22-year-old has turned her passion for whipping up homemade desserts into a business aptly named Ginger Goods.
“I’d like to bring my spunk and edge to you through creating dessert,” she said of her startup company.
Ms. Dunne began her career as a professional baker at Bonnie Jean’s restaurant in Southold. She worked for two years as a waitress and was later asked by the owner to take on the role of pastry chef.
“I’ve been working in the food industry since I was 15 — from a bus kid, server, baking, dishes, cooking, bartender — and still love it, ” she said. “I think I’m in the right industry and I’m happy I found my niche.”
In the kitchen at Bonnie Jean’s, Ms. Dunne makes cookies, pies, cakes and her personal favorite, cupcakes.
Ginger Goods launched in September and Ms. Dunne’s cupcakes have been featured at local events such as Greenport’s Maritime Festival. Inspired by Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, she made caramel apple spice cupcakes with a cinnamon sugar frosting using the brewery’s Leaf Pile Ale and chocolate stout cupcakes with an Irish cream frosting using its Black Duck Porter.
Ms. Dunne said she hopes to incorporate more local ingredients in the future.
In addition to baking for Bonnie’s Jean’s, Ginger Goods accepts custom orders. Still Ms. Dunne said there is more to accomplish and is looking branch out selling Ginger Goods products across the East End.
The Southold High School graduate pursued her passion through baking and pastry classes at the Suffolk County Community College culinary arts program. In the fall, she’ll attend the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. ICE alumni have appeared as contestants, judges or hosts on TV shows like “Top Chef,” “Next Food Network Star,” “Iron Chef,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Food Network Challenge” and Martha Stewart’s “Everyday Food.”
“I have the creative part and the love for the food industry down,” Ms. Dunne said. “Now it’s time to get all the skills I need to perfect it. Once my course is done I’d like to go to the West Coast to soak up some of their flavor and culture.”
Ms. Dunne said she will continue Ginger Goods while she’s in school and eventually aspires to open her own small shop, food truck or café.
“Nothing huge, just something I can still enjoy every day and make what I love to make.”