Growing up, Lindsay Beck helped tend her grandmother’s garden. With her young hands deep in the soil, she came to respect the hard work it took to grow something as simple as lettuce. “I came to appreciate ingredients and the process food takes from an early age,” she says.
That same appreciation shines in Beck’s intricate and also humble baked goods she crafts under the name Fancy Fox Bakeshop. A single crisp, buttery, tangy bite of her tomato galette tells the only story you may need to hear in appreciation for what this baker is doing when it comes to both sweet and savory pastries. Mushroom ricotta with ramp pesto, raspberry-pistachio meringue, brown-butter streusel coffee cake—there’s a sentimentality to these creations that’s difficult to express. They’re simple and complex. They’re just damn good.
Let’s not forget the doughnuts. They may be Greenville’s best-kept secret: rich brioche piped full and topped with spot-on flavors. It’s perfection found in simplicity. “I tend to lean more toward the idea of taking a dessert that everyone has at least some kind of perception of what it should taste like and altering it into a completely different form,” Beck explains. “An example of this would be my pineapple upside down cake doughnut. I take my brioche doughnut, fill it with a brown sugar custard and fold in chunks of roasted pineapple. Then I top each doughnut with a cherry. When people can relate the things they eat to their childhood, I think that is the biggest compliment. One time a woman at the farmers market told me that one of my doughnuts tasted like the ones her father made at his bakery in the 1950s. She was nearly in tears, and so was I.”
Lindsay’s respect for process and ingredients found in her grandmother’s garden led her to Clemson’s food research and development labs, but a required pastry internship at a downtown Greenville restaurant rocked her world: “I completely fell in love with baking on a professional level and never did anything else since that day.”
Yet after years working in large kitchens, simplicity called, and Fancy Fox was born. Lindsay sells predominantly at farmers markets and by special order, biding her time when it comes to opening a storefront. “In the beginning, I wanted to start Fancy Fox small to see what people said about my food and see if baking for people still made me happy. I am pretty calculated and cautious, and the thought of just going straight into a brick-and-mortar was terrifying. I am still taking things slowly to see what will be best for the business and myself,” she says.
Fancy Fox is so popular at local markets, her table is bare by noon, the array of individual pastries and slices of cakes and pies disappearing in a blink. The market lends itself to her respect for seasonal, local baking and her research background. Those peaches, basil, berries, and eggs she bought one week become the ingredients for the next—a delicious cycle of flavor.
Her favorite? Rhubarb, like the kind that grew in her grandmother’s garden. She looks forward to it each spring.
Find Fancy Fox Bakeshop at fancyfoxbakeshop.com and @fancyfoxbakeshop. Photography by Paul Mehaffey.