When you’re craving something sweet - whether it’s a bite of chocolate, a crunchy cookie, or a decorated cupcake - it just got easier to satisfy your sweet tooth. Dolce, a new bakeshop, has opened on Main Street in a familiar spot.
– By Lisa Monti
Stars among the sweet Southern favorites are fanciful cupcakes piled high with tasty frosting, hefty M&M-studded chocolate chip cookies, and homemade marshmallows in a variety of flavors.
Brooke, a Bay St. Louis native, opened Dolce Bakeshop on Jeff Davis Avenue with 11 years of home-baking experience. “I started baking for friends and family, and it grew from there,” she said. When Brooke decided to open her retail shop, she was fulfilling her long-held dream of owning a bakery.
Dolce quickly became a popular spot for special-occasion cakes, gourmet cupcakes, hand-crafted marshmallows, cookies, and other treats.
The Resters lived upstairs at Dolce for four years to get their new business off the ground. “It was an adventure for sure,” she said of the experience.
As things settled into a routine, Brooke’s husband, William, left his teaching career to open a cafe in Gulfport; sadly, that venture was upended by COVID. Undeterred, William eventually opened a coastal cuisine and craft cocktail restaurant named Radish last year and Kaiteki Noodle Bar a few months ago, both on busy Jeff Davis Avenue.
Earlier this year, Brooke saw on Facebook that Serious Bread, a Main Street mainstay, was closing. She saw the opportunity to open a bakeshop in her hometown. “It’s where we wanted to be. We love the downtown area,” she said.
After a quick call to the landlord and a tour of the space she was sold on the spot, and things quickly fell into place. After the lease was signed, Brooke went to work reconfiguring and renovating the customer area and the adjacent kitchen. She and her crew brightened up the public space with fresh paint and colorful wallpaper to give a cozy vibe that is partial to pinks and pastels.
Now there’s a comfy pink couch, a pair of cafe tables and chairs, bright floral wallpaper, and chandeliers overhead.
The front counter showcases the artful creations baked and decorated in the kitchen. A small gelato station sits at the end of the counter, filled with five flavors that rotate weekly. The frozen treat is made in a bulky gelato machine at the Long Beach shop and transported to the Bay.
The Italian influence at the bakeshop is subtle but sincere. Brooke said, “We don’t claim to be Italian, but we love the name, so any time we can give a nod to Italy, we do.”
The Dolce version of the ricotta-stuffed cannoli pastry is drizzled generously with chocolate and studded with tiny chocolate chips.
Dolce’s bakers make an Italian version of the meringue-based macaron, which tends to be more stable in our muggy environment, according to Brooke. Dolce makes their colorful, delicate macarons almost daily in flavors such as cookie butter and birthday cake, which are always available, plus strawberry cheesecake, lemon blueberry and cotton candy. “Those are the more typical flavors that we carry this time of year,” Brooke said. The Bay bakers also make cranberry orange and sugar plum fairy varieties.
The shop sells an assortment of Dolce merch, including a signature pink T-shirt and small shakers of baking sprinkles.
Kelli Bowman, a pastry school graduate, is the general manager at Dolce’s new shop, and Jaden Lackey is the baking assistant. Both have been with Dolce for years. “They run the show when I can’t be at a location. They’re amazing,” Brooke said.
While the two bakeshops sell similar items, the new Main Street Dolce offers longer hours to accommodate the foot traffic patterns in Old Town.
Brooke made sure that Dolce stepped right up to join in celebrating in Old Town style, with specialty sweets decorated especially for the July 4th Crab Fest and the annual Frida Fest.
“We’re really excited about taking part in all of the coming events and making sure the bakery is participating,” she said.
Recently, Brooke made a big announcement for Dolce fans beyond the two bakeshop locations. Nationwide same-day shipping is now available for the Dolce Cookie Box, packed with the famous M&M Chocolate Chip and a decorated shortbread cookie with various designs. A recent lineup included a Campfire cookie featuring chocolate chunks, toasted marshmallows and smoked sea salt, a heart-shaped, iced shortbread, and lemon white chocolate cookies.
Other baked goods are in the works for Dolce Bakeshop in the future, but for now, Brooke said, “We’re mostly sticking to the sweets.”
Watch for special pop-up events from Dolce as well. “We’re brainstorming different ideas to bring people in,” Brooke said.
131 Main Street, Ste. D, Bay St. Louis | (228) 224-7795
Tues - Thurs 10 am - 5 pm
Fri - Sat 10 am - 8 pm
Sun 10 am - 3 pm
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