The Frosted Fox Cake Shop makes anything from wedding cakes to cookies. The Mt. Airy storefront is warm, welcoming and best of all, most days you can walk in and actually meet the owners Jennifer Low and Sean Williams in person. Recently I had the chance to talk with Sean Williams about the shop and what made he and Jennifer start their own business as well as what the future holds for The Frosted Fox.
Tell me about yourselves, what is the origin story of The Frosted Fox?
It was about four years ago. My wife was working for John and Kira’s Chocolates, which is a local chocolate company, I was doing corporate catering and we just decided that we wanted to start our own place. We’d always envisioned starting our own place and we started putting plans into place to do that. She left her job at the chocolate shop and started recipe-testing and getting a bank loan and doing all those fun things to open a business. It took about a year to get everything off the ground.
What prompted you to start your business here, in other words; why Northwest Philadelphia?
My wife actually grew up in Germantown, she was a lifer at the Germantown Friends School, we live right on the border of Germantown and Mt. Airy right now. She would pass this storefront coming home for a number of years when she was working up in Chestnut Hill and it just kind of caught her eye. So we really love the neighborhood and it seems to be undergoing a lot of changes, it’s really been a surprise to see how many families are coming in. We definitely wanted to stay local, her dad still lives down the street from us in the same house where she grew up. The Germantown, Northwest area is really important to her and to me. I grew up in Miami in kind of a suburb area but there was no sense of community like there is here. It’s just a beautiful spot in the city.
What are some people / places / things that inspire you?
I guess our main inspiration for the shop is the movie, “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” Around the time we got married in 2010 the movie had just come out. We just really like the aesthetic of that and the overall feel, it kind of became the unofficial theme of our wedding. So when we were thinking about names we just liked the rustic, warm feeling you get from the movie. And we wanted to translate that into from-scratch baked goods kind of like you grew up eating, that sense of nostalgia you get from having something that tastes like your family might have made for the holidays or for any special occasion. We don’t really have anybody in our family in the food industry, they’re pretty much all in the medical industry. I didn’t go to school formally for baking pastry, I went through the culinary program but it’s something I’ve always been interested in. We really just enjoy getting back to the basics and I think that this neighborhood definitely appreciates the level of work and care that we put into it. When you get something from us and bring it to a special occasion people kind of know that you went out of your way to grab something not just from the supermarket. There’s a place for that too but I think that we bring a little bit more to the table in terms of the level of customization.
What do you hope for in the future?
We definitely need to expand, we’re at a crossroads. We need to scale-up essentially, we’re having some supply-chain issues in terms of how much product we can make. We still want to keep the level of consistency and we don’t want to grow too big to where people don’t see us anymore. We just love interacting with people and serving people and really giving them the product that they want and I think that they deserve for the price-point we offer. My wife is taking a lot of business course on the side that are offered through the city and some other programs so we’re building out that way and trying to really focus on building the business. Ultimately I think we’re hoping to still maintain a retail location but also hoping to have some sort of commissary setup and definitely expand as much as we can.
More information can be found on their website, http://www.frostedfoxcakeshop.com.