Thorn Apple Baking Co. brings treats and coffee to Meadow Village Center
Big Sky’s newest bakery specializes in dietary restrictions
By Jack Reaney STAFF WRITER
Jennifer Fitzhugh came to Big Sky a little more than a decade ago to serve as the executive pastry chef at Big Sky Resort. This past summer, she left the resort and brought along Elissa Skaggs, her coworker of five years, to open Thorn Apple Baking Co.
Fitzhugh explained that the bakery name is based on a street in Michigan.
“I saw the [street] name years ago, and it stuck with me,” she said. “I always thought that would be a great bakery name.”
Located near the Country Market in the Meadow Village Center, Thorn Apple’s location was most recently occupied by Lone Peak Brewery. Fitzhugh found the space by word of mouth, after spending the summer selling her goods at the farmers market. She expects the bakery to fully open in mid-February, providing a “bakery first, coffee second” space in the Meadow Village Center where Fitzhugh sees her business as a community fit.
“I think all of the businesses [in Meadow Village Center] are going to help each other,” she said. “We’re all really excited to have something that’s going to bring in more foot traffic. I’ve been working with the businesses around here, providing cookies and desserts for their events.”
Since November, Thorn Apple has been ramping up its business through special orders and wholesale baking for Steele Pressed Juice, Big Sky Resort’s three coffee shops, and soon, the Hungry Moose. Once the storefront fully opens, Fitzhugh said special orders can still be placed by emailing the bakery or visiting the new website, also set to launch by mid-February.
Gluten-free, dairy free and “pretty vegan” herself, Fitzhugh’s vision is to accommodate allergies and dietary restrictions at a scale that hasn’t been available in Big Sky. She noted that with uncertainty around the current egg shortage, it’s not an easy time to own a traditional bakery. Still, Thorn Apple “does some baking with gluten and that good stuff,” she said.
Fitzhugh said that unless customers ask, she often doesn’t mention missing ingredients until after they eat something—like her gluten free and vegan chocolate chip cookie—and they sometimes don’t believe her. If they don’t like the taste, she said they don’t have to pay.
Thorn Apple specializes in dessert spreads and cakes for weddings, special events and birthdays. For holidays including Valentine’s Day, Thorn Apple will put out a menu for advanced orders.
“If anybody has [special requests], we can pretty much do whatever people want if we have enough time,” she said.
Although there’s not grab-and-go goods or coffee yet, the bakery’s current hours are Wednesday through Sunday from roughly 9 a.m. until sometime after 5 p.m. Thorn Apple is looking to hire a front-of-house worker in order to open their storefront.