Written by Hannah Saulters | Photographed by Paul Wolf
Home away from home is the vibe owners Cody Cox and Molly West are going for at Urban Foxes, the newly opened pie shop in Belhaven Heights, housed in a 1920s Craftsman-style bungalow.
A sweeping backyard and welcoming front porch bookend the property, creating the perfect outdoor space to study during the day or enjoy a snack and a beer in the evening.
Although the fare is mostly pie-centric, consisting of both sweet and savory pastries, visitors can expect an expert espresso pull thanks to Cox and his decades of barista experience at Cups in Fondren and other shops.
When testing recipes, Cox created classic flavors, with a twist on their original execution.
“Our chocolate pie isn’t the standard Mid-South chocolate custard with miles of meringue on top. It’s more of a ganache, very dense with dark chocolate. It’s still a chocolate pie, but it’s slightly different.” He’s also made sourcing ingredients seasonally and locally a priority.
Decidedly sidestepping the recent trend of stark white and slate gray that’s come to define a modern coffee shop, West and Cox wanted their space to feel cozy and eclectic.
“You’ll still see some mid-century modern influence,” notes West, but the primary inspiration for the shop comes from her years spent in Scotland.
Modeled after pubs and small-batch bakeries, the walls are painted in rich, deep blues and forest greens, perfect for showing off a wide collection of art from local creators. The name is a nod to Scotland, too, where foxes are spotted in urban spaces often.
While the Fondren couple brought a lot of their own backgrounds and perspectives to the space, they also collaborated with local Fondren designer Beth Blackwell, who has a particular knack for taking an idea and bringing it to life. The decorating talent is hereditary, as Beth’s two-year old daughter picked out one of the most distinct chairs in the space: a tiger-shaped bench, lovingly named Pete Za.
Cox and West both credit their circle of creative friends for helping them create the space’s unique feel, but even more broadly, they have so much gratitude. “There’s always a risk of opening a new business, particularly a restaurant, but I think one of the reasons I’m confident or at least less nervous, is just the giving spirit of Jackson and support of so much creativity.”
Urban Foxes is located in neighboring Belhaven Heights at 826 North State Street.