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Perfection in confections: Bakery starts small but now does it all


When Nils Rowland was 11 years old, his father spent time teaching him how to make the perfect pie. This lemon meringue dessert set the tone for his future. After years in the kitchen, lemon is still his favorite flavor.

Rowland is a graduate of the Notter School of Pastry Arts in Orlando and also a past competitor on The Food Network’s Cake Wars series. He has perfected the art of beautiful and delicious desserts. Rowland and his wife Bailey started their pastry journey by providing services in both wholesale and weddings; the Rowlands worked in private clubs and resorts while honing their skills. They continue to design desserts for several of the best restaurants in St. Augustine and Jacksonville.

Crème de la Cocoa was founded when the couple decided to move forward with their dreams of adding retail to their business plans. The Rowlands decided to renovate a space across from their previous location inside DOS Coffee. With the support of family and friends, 299 San Marco Avenue became the new home for the bakery in summer 2016.

“We love this area and we wanted a location that was easily accessible for brides and other customers. We also needed a large production space. We started small to lower risks and we’ve grown. We do it all now,” Bailey Rowland said.

The bakery offers seating for up to 16 guests and plenty of space for display cases. With their strong backgrounds in hospitality and marketing, the Rowlands enjoy connecting with their customers and providing the best service possible.

Crème de la Cocoa offers customized cakes and desserts; macaroons, decadent hand painted chocolates, and cookies are in abundance. Among the most popular treats are the Key lime pie, salted caramel and banana curry truffles.

Crème de la Cocoa also offers private party classes for adults and children. Each party class is taught by Chef Nils Rowland himself. Among the options offered for kids are a hand-rolled truffle making class and a cookie decorating class. Adults can choose from several options also, including marshmallow making or a perfect pie crust and fillings class.

Visit for more information.

Photo by Angela Higginbotham

Nils and Bailey Rowland own Crème de la Cocoa

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