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Confectionery Couple

Mixing business with friendship, the Supley Foxworths find recipe for love, success

On a bright, early Saturday morning just a few turns away from the intersection of Wiehle and Sunrise Valley, David and Mary Supley Foxworth are awake in their kitchen, the house smells of baking and they’ve already made one business transaction for the day – selling a freshly made batch of 50 assorted flavored cupcakes for a birthday party. And these aren’t the average Betty Crocker variety. With flavors such as cinnamon spice, orange pound cake, chocolate espresso, and the mysterious sounding, red velvet, the Supley Foxworth’s have created a budding home-based bakery, known as MallowDrama, which first began as two friends with a mutual passion for cooking.

“We’ve been baking for friends and family for seven years but just incorporated this past summer,” said Mary Supley Foxworth, who, until recently, was the communications and outreach manager of Reston Interfaith. “We both loved cooking and entertaining and we started doing more of that. It just grew from there.”

Both originally from the area — Mary Supley Foxworth, a Herndon High School graduate, and her husband, David, a former Seahawk at South Lakes High School — the couple met through mutual friends. With a shared interest in throwing dinner parties, the two joined forces to entertain their friends, a move that gradually transformed two friends into a romantic couple.

“Some [friends] were surprised, others thought for years that we should have been dating,” said Mary Supley Foxworth.

This past August, the couple celebrated their third year anniversary.

LISTENING TO THE TWO talk about baking with each other, it’s hard not to notice that time spent in the kitchen can reveal bits of information about a significant other that might not have surfaced otherwise. When the couple makes truffles — a handmade treat that’s somewhat of a calling card for MallowDrama — David Supley Foxworth has to refrain from helping make the shells. The reason? His hand’s are 20-degrees warmer than his wife’s, which melts the thin chocolate.

“I took a candy thermometer and held it in my fist,” said David Supley Foxworth. “When it hit 109 degrees, we realized that Mary would have to do the truffles.”

The couple’s first big success was Mary Supley Foxworth’s award winning cake at the 2002 Chocolate Lovers Festival in Fairfax. Titled “St. Filberts Florentine Torta,” the cake took first place for best taste. But getting the taste right, the couple remembers, took some time.

“The first time I did that I can’t remember how many times I had David taste the cake,” said Mary Supley Foxworth.

As he recalls, “it was at least 10.”

The following year, their “Ole Mole” cake won first place and best in show. The cake was based on traditional mole recipes, which included ground pumpkin seeds and ancho peppers.

And the two are proud of what they make, both taste and appearance. Flipping through a portfolio of past work, there is a story for every cake — or at least a clever name, like their crab cake. An oval cake sculpted with fondant and painted to resemble a crab, pinchers and all, these creations are largely left to the artistic eye of David Supley Foxworth, who received a Corcoran Gold Key Award in 1990, and, according to his wife, says “[the] business is an opportunity for him to sketch and paint — just on cake instead of canvas.”

“A lot of our ideas start out as jokes because I jokingly suggest something we should do,” said Mary Supley Foxworth.

They have lots of designs and they’re willing to give just about anything a try. They’ve even used their talent to celebrate Reston. This past Founder’s Day, the two made a special cake for Robert E. Simon, which depicted a scene from Lake Anne, dogwood blossoms and the vintage lettering of the Reston logo.

HAVING GROWN UP in the area, the two are inherently tied to it. Mary Supley Foxworth remembers one of her first endeavors in baking: It was tenth grade at Herndon High School and her French teacher, Madame Singer, taught the class about the buche de noel, or yule log. A traditional Christmas cake in France, Mary Supley Foxworth decided to bake one for the class, and has continued to make one annually for the past 20 years.

It’s also not uncommon to find the two perusing through the weekly farmer’s market in Lake Anne. Conscious of the ingredients that go into their baking, the two use only fresh ingredients with an emphasis on seasonal flavors. They also have an ideological connection with many of the vendors at the market.

“A lot of them are committed to the environment like David and I are,” said Mary Supley Foxworth. “We really like to use locally and organically grown ingredients.”

And her husband sees an added bonus, believing that “it doesn’t hurt that things taste very good when they’re fresh.”

With the local ties, it’s not a surprise that the two are eventually looking at moving the business out of their home kitchen and into a storefront location. With the ideal location at South Lakes Shopping Center, the two hope to create a store that provides locals with a evening spot away from the bar scene.

“We wish there was a more casual place to go later in the evenings,” said Mary Supley Foxworth. According to the couple, their ideal business would offer a place to go after seeing a show at the community center, or a place just to “sit down and hang out.”

FOR NOW, THE couple will continue to provide locals with made-to-order cakes, truffles, and an assortment of cookies, scones and candies. According to Mary Supley Foxworth, MallowDrama currently does a lot of repeat business, which the couple attributes to their equal love for appearance and taste.

“If we didn’t care about the taste, we wouldn’t care so much about the quality of ingredients,” said Mary Supley Foxworth. “We like to think that when one person orders from us, they’ll remember us for a long time.”