I get several variations of this question on a daily basis. “Why did you name it The Snooty Fox?” “Where did you come up with such a cute name?” “What does your shop’s name mean?’

In the grand tradition of Americans Naming Things, I ripped the name of my shop off from the British. We’ve been doing it for centuries.

Insolent retorts aside, here’s the longer version of the story:

libby with a snooty fox

Meet the original Snooty Fox

While trying to think of a good name for a tea shop, I looked to British pub names for inspiration. Why British pub names? In college, I spent time in London to learn about the great city and its long history of writers. While there, I got a big kick out of the cheeky, charming, and sometimes silly names they give their pubs. Carpenter and The Walrus. Princess Louise. The Well and Bucket. Moon Under Water. I wrote these names down in my little black notebook alongside sketches, broken lines of prose, and notes about paintings I liked at Tate Modern. Many years later, with an unnamed tea shop coming together, I found myself perusing lists of pub names for an idea. And there it was: The Snooty Fox. The image of a snooty red fox struck me, gripped me even because I had met a snooty fox a few years earlier. And she liked strawberries.

She turned her nose up at all of the food we gave her: minnows, chicken, leafy greens, you name it. We worried that her refusal to eat signaled a deeper problem with her health. I can still remember holding a big red strawberry up to her nose, thinking it was worth a try. She sniffed the berry, licked it, and then started chomping. That little snooty fox caved for a ripe strawberry. You don’t quickly forget feeding a hungry fox who has just found her appetite.

Curious about how I got to work with baby foxes? Check out Wildwoods!