The Roanoke Baking Company opened on Valentine’s Day in Niceville and specializes in treats for your sweet tooth, including cheesecake, lemon icebox pie and ’gooey’ poundcakes.
NICEVILLE — The decade spent owning and operating a Piggly Wiggly in DeFuniak Springs was a grind for Scott Hayles and his wife, Damaris.
Rewarding, sure, but also a grind. When they decided to sell their grocery store and move to Niceville, where they had family, the thought was the couple might get to relax for a bit.
It was a nice thought.
Now owners of the Roanoke Baking Company (144 Palm Boulevard), Scott and Damaris are pulling one facet of running the grocery store they loved and turning it into their main focus — satisfying your sweet tooth. The bakery is located right next to popular Pounders Hawaiian Grill. They opened for business on Valentine's Day.
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"After 10 years we were done with the 24-7 situation (at Piggly Wiggly), and my parents and sister were already in (Niceville)," Scott said. "They're the stable ones and we're the crazy ones, so to speak, so when we told them about (the bakery) they said 'You guys go for it, we're tired.’
“It was kind of hard to stop doing something we enjoyed ... so we kept the ball rolling."
The part that the Hayles enjoyed from running a grocery store was the bakery — but they'll also bring some other aspects of the former business into their new one.
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"It's a really stripped-down version of a large-scale bakery," Scott said. "We'll also include homemade coleslaw, salads and sides, which is all carried over from our grocery days. On our retail side we'll have some independent clothing and we'll have a smaller grocery side with organic items and flowers ... stuff you'll likely find at a Whole Foods."
The Hayles ended up with a bigger space because of availability, but they've been creative in filling that space out, to the point where Scott laughed when asked if he was actually setting up a hipster bakery chain.
"Hey, we've got some vinyl (records) going already," he said. "I'm looking at some Raconteurs, we've got some books ... it definitely is a bigger space than we needed but it was such a good spot.
"At the core, we're cakes and cookies and pies and treats, but we'll also eventually have our own branded label of cold brew soon."
The packaging for the cold brew has already arrived and it's named Catalan in honor of Damaris's grandfather, who was from Spain.
"Our specialties to begin with are going to be things like cheesecake, lemon ice box pie and poundcake," Scott said. "Our poundcake is different from what you might imagine because we call them 'gooey' poundcakes, which we've found people love. That gooey comes from cream cheese so maybe it's not the typical tall, dry poundcake you're used to.
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"And we can put chocolate or strawberries or other stuff on top and it's really tasty. Hopefully we can satisfy people who are looking for a treat after they leave Pounders or just want to take a treat home with them."
You can see samples of the Hayles' work on the Facebook page for Roanoke, which is named after a town "in Alabama, up in the hills above Auburn," or send questions to email@example.com.