This post is part of our portrait/interview series with Emily "Birdie" Busch. Birdie's challenge is to tease out candid responses from fellow artistic, industrious women. Painters, mothers, musicians, brewers, bakers, and more. What muses!
Jennifer, above. She wore the Dutch Twilight tee for the day's photoshoot.
If you live in Northwest Philadelphia like me you hear people talk about THE lemon cake. The news travels in many circles and it seems to be a community unifier, a unanimous agreement that it is indeed the best. I have watched friends who I considered health food gurus go back for seconds on this particular cake. I’ve had people brag that even after a week in the fridge it still holds up. Let’s go back though to how I first came to know about Jennifer Low’s Frosted Fox Bakery. It had nothing to do with the sweets themselves as much as the care that was being put into the small shop’s window decorations upon opening. I found myself goose-necking to see it when I’d drive up and down Germantown Avenue both day and night, the rotating display like a bakery of some turned back in time small Parisian town. It lured me in to get to the goods or shall we call them the greats. The double chocolate cookies. The fox shaped shortbreads. THE lemon cake.
A small team of about four, her husband included (they met both attending the Culinary Institute of America) were at the bakery when I arrived for the photoshoot. Jennifer Low greeted me but then quickly got to work on prepping cakes with the others. It had the air of an industrious workshop, with all of them in bandanas and t-shirts zig-zagging through the storefront.
One minute she was making roses, another she was whipping frosting in oversized mixers. Next someone would plop a layered cake in front of her and she’d start spackling then smoothing the buttercream. My instinct was to just scoop out the side of the cake she was working on and shove it in my masked face.
While Jennifer has definitely had to pivot the business a bit with large events like weddings being prohibited due to Covid-19 she says that people are definitely still ordering and she finds that folks are getting smaller but very interesting nuanced designs. With continuous “best of” accolades almost every year they have been open from both WeddingWire and The Knot, the quality of her work is noticed and appreciated. But don’t let the need for an overly formal reason stop you from ordering treats from Frosted Fox Bakery. With sweets as good as theirs, that in and of itself is the occasion.
Recommended Frosted Fox Bakery Rabbit-holes:
They has a website for learning more about what they make and how to order: https://www.frostedfoxcakeshop.com/
Jennifer Low participated in the Netflix Show Sugar Rush and won! Watch the episode here: https://www.netflix.com/title/80201328
They are always showing their cakes off at their Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/frostedfoxcakeshop/
What is a career/creative moment you are proud of?
Two big career moments come to mind here. The first greatest moment was opening my own shop. I had worked for other companies (one bakery and one chocolate company) but I always wanted to open a cake shop. That’s the reason I went to culinary school in the first place. While I was working at the chocolate company I actually received a note about buying an existing bakery. My husband and I explored the idea but in the end it fizzled out. That sent me into a bit of a personal crisis where I realized I was almost 30 and hadn’t really taken any tangible steps towards opening my own shop. I revealed that I was a bit ambivalent about buying an existing shop because I would never really feel like it was “mine.” That’s when I started putting all of my effort into testing recipes, building out a kitchen, and opening the Frosted Fox Cake Shop. My husband agreed to support my idea and we worked for about a year full-time doing all the legwork to get our shop open. I was incredibly proud the day we opened our shop in Fall of 2015. Now, I can’t believe it’s almost been 5 years and it’s challenging but also very rewarding. This year has posed new challenges I never even imagined but my incredible team and I are working hard through it.
The second cool moment was when my friend Peri and I competed on a cake decorating TV show called Sugar Rush for Netflix. We flew out to California and spent 3 days filming interviews and competing to try to make the best cupcakes, dessert, and cake. It was super stressful and very very surreal. We botched the first round pretty badly and had to re-start our first dish, but somehow survived to round two. From there we took the lead and eventually went on to win our episode! We had to keep it secret until about 3 weeks before the show came out. We hosted a big viewing party with the help of our neighborhood CDC and it was super cool and rewarding to sit in a room with about 75 friends and clients while they watched the episode. When the judges announced that we had won, the whole room broke into a cheer that made me feel SO proud and overwhelmed by their love and support.
What are you listening to now? What are you looking at? What recipe you feeling?
I have a 3 year old, so right now we mostly listen to the Trolls World Tour soundtrack. But right at this very second I’m listening to “O-o-oh Child” which feels like a pretty spot on song for mid 2020. I’m working on getting through all the emails at work, so I’m tucked into my little office corner looking at cluttered papers, stamps, notebooks, and clipboards. The recipe I’m super into right now is for super junky buffalo chicken dip. It’s not fancy, it’s not pastry, and it’s very very bad for you!
How do you define your own personal style or approach to clothes? My general approach to clothes is pretty utilitarian because of my job (I wear the same work shirt most of the time along with jeans, shorts, and non-slip shoes). When I’m not working I still love to wear comfortable t-shirt and jean combos, but I love to look a little more put together and cute. Comfort is important. I need the clothes to feel physically comfortable and also I need to feel comfortable in them. I’m honestly pretty self-conscious about my body, so when clothes fit well, I feel way more confident. It can be hard to find shirts that I feel good in, so when I do find one, I get two! It was so funny being asked to be part of this project because I actually already have a couple of the National Picnic shirts and they look great, are comfortable, and I feel good in them!
What would be your advice to a teenage girl clothing and style wise that you wish you had received?
I wish I had really learned that anyone can wear anything. I’ve spent most of my life wishing I was smaller (even when I was smaller). I put off wearing clothes I liked because I didn’t think they would look good on me unless I lost weight. I wish I had learned that anyone can wear any style and that being confident in an outfit is what really makes that outfit look good. It makes me really optimistic that more young girls and women have embraced this idea than when I was young.