St. Johns County Small Business Spotlight: Crème de la Cocoa
Crème de la Cocoa, established in 2016, is a high-end bakeshop that specializes in wedding cakes, hand-painted chocolates and custom desserts with a twist on traditional flavors. Led by owners Nils and Bailey Rowland, Crème de la Cocoa has 16 employees and is located at 299 San Marco Ave. in St. Augustine. Nils was recently a finalist on the Food Network’s Halloween Wars where he and his team created spooky Halloween displays that wowed the judges. The tasting treats he crafted on the show are now available in the shop to enjoy.
Nils and Bailey share their thoughts on being business owners here in St. Johns County.
Q: What inspired you to select St. Johns County as the home of your business?
A: We are both originally from Gainesville but spent many summers and weekends in St. Augustine. We always considered St. Augustine our home away from home. After graduating from college at UCF in Orlando, we both thought St. Augustine would be the perfect place for two Hospitality Management Majors.
Q: What is the best part about being a business owner in St. Johns County?
A: The local love and support for our small business and many others has always been prevalent. We love the community here and the appreciation for our craft that we have received since opening.
Q: What is your biggest business success to date?
A: That is a difficult question to answer. However, we would say that the biggest success is seeing the same customers consistently and most all of them being locals. We love being a part of the most special occasions of their lives.
Q: What is your vision for the future of your business?
A: We are currently working on a second location in our hometown Gainesville, FL. Bailey’s dad had a business in the same building for 40 years and it feels really special to keep the building in the family and utilize the space for our own business.
Q: Outside of work, what activities do you enjoy here in St. Johns County?
A: We have two boys, 5 and 6 years old, that we enjoy spending time with at the beach, fishing and visiting the Alligator Farm.
Q: Do you have any parting thoughts you’d like to share?
A: We would just like to take a moment to thank everyone for their continued support. It means the world to our family and our team.