When Kylie Gray, 24, owner of Foxglove Bakery, moved home to West Virginia from Knoxville, Tennessee, to open her own bakery, she didn’t know how her future as a business owner would pan out. All she knew was that she wanted to use her bakery to make Beckley a fun, more creative space where anyone could thrive no matter their passion.
Gray says she first discovered her love of baking in high school after her mom had her create a food blog as an extracurricular activity.
“I didn’t really know anything about cooking or baking, just what my mom had made me do in the kitchen. But once I started the blog it was super fun and all of a sudden, I realized how much I loved getting all these ingredients and putting them together to make this amazing thing. I just thought that was so cool that the possibilities are endless with what you can create.”
When Gray started pursuing a business degree at Concord University, her baking fell to the wayside and became more of a hobby than a career goal.
After graduating college, Gray moved to Knoxville in 2018 where she found herself working as a debt collector. Unhappy with her desk job, she realized what she needed was to be working in a bakery.
Gray soon found herself working at a local business called Wild Love Bakehouse.
“I got the job, and I was just in awe that that had happened to me. The way I create is through baking and I was very lucky to find that that’s my niche.”
During her months at Wild Love, Gray had the opportunity to work for a small business owner who showed her the ropes of running a bakery.
“My boss there she was and is just this inspiring role model for me because she started that business from the ground up and has never stopped. I saw my boss do all this amazing work and I’ve seen how hard it is, but I’ve also seen how amazing it is to own a business and I knew that that’s what I wanted to do.”
Gray moved home in August of 2019. She planned to bake out of her home until she could open an official brick-and-mortar location. After figuring out her bakery’s name- named after flowers her grandmother used to grow- her logo and her menu, Gray introduced Foxglove Bakery to the world.
She began posting images of her menu online and soon began to gain clientele through social media but largely by word of mouth.
Gray wanted her menu to reflect her close-knitted family, stating that their universal love language has always been food.
“Anything that makes me super excited to share with someone that’s what I want to make and give to someone. I want them to feel that same joy that I feel baking it.”
From soft muffins to flaky hand pies, Gray cultivated her offerings so that anyone can find something they like.
Gray continued, stating that she wants to use her bakery to inspire the people of Beckley to find and cultivate their own passions.
“I’m going to stay here for life, so I want to make Beckley as great as possible and I want to bring that creative atmosphere that is lacking. I want to bring life to Beckley and share my passion. I want to make Beckley the place where people want to be. I am so passionate about what I do, and I want to give that to people and inspire them to do that. No matter what your passion is we can find a way to bring it here.
“I’m super happy being home and being able to share my stuff with the people here. There has always been good food in my family and that’s what I want to share.”
Gray is constantly updating her menu to change her offerings with the seasons. The day after Thanksgiving she released her Christmas menu which features chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, linzer cookies, pecan hand pies with cinnamon drizzle and pecan streusel, pumpkin hand pies, hot chocolate swiss rolls, gingerbread cookies and brown butter pecan cookies.
Gray’s menu can be viewed on Facebook at Foxglove Bakery or on Instagram at foxglovebakery.wv.
Look out for some delicious Foxglove goods at a vendor event on Dec. 5 at Gates Supply in Beckley. The event, which starts at 5 p.m., will feature local artisans and their wares. Gray will be the only vendor selling baked goods.