Photos courtesy Shannon's Sugah Shack.

How one woman’s tragedy helped to bring something new to the local baking scene

They say everything happens for a reason, and Shannon Martz, owner of Shannon’s Sugah Shack, has to agree. In March 2017, Martz was working in finance when she found herself in a car accident, pinned between a truck and a sprinter van in the middle of the highway. Through many years of surgery, therapy, wheelchairs and walkers, she turned to baking to help with her mental and physical healing. And after receiving many compliments and words of encouragement, Martz opened up her own bakery business, Shannon’s Sugah Shack.

Instead of cupcakes and croissants, Martz is known for her unique, handpainted cakes made from scratch with Italian or American buttercream. Rather than a typical brush, Martz uses palette knives to craft three-dimensional florals on her cakes.

“Most bakers in our area, I’ve found, were offering either decorated cookies, fondant-covered cakes, or pies and cheesecakes,” Martz says. “I was pretty adamant about finding my niche in order to bring something totally different to our area.”

After just two years of business, Shannon’s Sugar Shack was awarded best bakery, best dessert and ranked in the top three for best king cake in Ascension Parish. She’s also been featured on the Jay Ducote Show and on Baton Rouge Family Fun’s podcast “Eat the Boot.”

“I’m so passionate about baking. I’m a part of the most intimate of events as well as large scale celebrations, and it’s hard to put into words what that means to me,” Martz says. “God saved me the day of my accident because it led me to Shannon’s Sugah Shack, and I couldn’t be more proud.”

Get a closer look at Martz’s handpainted, palette-knife cakes below.