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News Nugests

 Gluten-Free Bread and More Every Monday

Celiac sufferers rejoice! Coco now features gluten-free bread every Monday along with gluten-free cookies, brownies, muffins, and tortes. After months of research, Noreen Ovadia Wills, Coco’s creative baker, developed a delicious gluten-free loaf that is worthy of standing beside her other artisan breads. A limited number of loaves are frozen for sale later in the week. In addition, a number of Café menu items are available as gluten-free alternatives.

Noreen describes the history of her research in the April issue of the Gazette.

Strawberry Bread Pudding

Coco’s Strawberry Bread Pudding Recipe on Star-Tribune Web
Rick Nelson, reporter for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune visited Coco last summer. The visit and Noreen’s strawberry bread pudding so impressed him that he posted a blog on the paper’s website. He points out that, after Google, it's the most-read website in Minnesota. He writes:

“During a trip last summer to Lake Superior's south shore, I walked into Noreen Ovadia's bakery in Washburn, Wis., and immediately hit the strawberry Mother Lode. It was a fantastic bread pudding, rich and creamy and bursting with berries that had been plucked from the farms that stretch out on the hills high above the neighboring town of Bayfield.

“I've daydreamed about that strawberry-fest on more than one occasion. In the intervening 12 months since my visit, Ovadia has expanded her business. Now Cafe Coco - Artisan Bakery & Good Eats is serving breakfast and lunch daily. "So far, we've managed to sell the Chequamegon Bay Area on falafel-lake trout Ruebens as well as frittatas and 'Really Swell French Toast with Banana Caramel Sauce,'" she said. Wow. I'm so booking a return trip.”

Read more of Nelson’s blog and the recipe at



Wedding Cakes

Noreen took a busman's holiday to bake the wedding cake and all the festive food for the wedding of Nick's daughter, Trisha. The cake was delicious, as it was enormous. The groom, Glenn, is 6'4" tall.

Coco makes all sorts of delicious, beautiful, unique wedding cakes including cheese cakes.



Coco fans wear Coco T-shirts. They are available at Café Coco. One says "Just Eat It" on the back, another says "Never Fry Bacon Naked."


Star-Tribune lauds Coco

Some of Coco specialties are praised in a recent Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune article about food delights in the Chequamegon Bay area. Star Tribune writer, Rick Nelson, asks rhetorically, "Is there another Midwestern getaway that so vigorously celebrates its small cache of native ingredients?" We answer, we certainly celebrate them at Coco!

Nelson writes about Coco:

“Over in Washburn,baker/owner Noreen Ovadia Wills does wicked things with chocolate, steering it into fudgy, walnut-packed brownies and diet-busting tortes. Her made-from-scratch philosophy is evident in her homey lemon bars, simple vanilla cheesecakes and cream-filled Danish. There are breads, too, and those terrific plate-sized lavash.”

Of course, Nelson mentions Coco's lavash. "It's very popular," Noreen says, "We can't keep it on the shelves." Our advice: get to the bakery early.



Key Lime Pie


Key Lime Pie
Hey Noreen. This is Cherie, Suzanne's mother.  How come there is no mention of Key Lime Pie on your website?  It is the most amazing treat.  I consider myself a connoisseur of key lime pie, and it is the best I have ever had.  Yours has replaced chocolate mousse cake  and Buche de Noel as my favorite, and that's saying something.
 . . .
 We are looking forward to Suzanne and Keith's visit next week, with the munchkins of course.  They are under orders to bring back AWW, and key lime pie.  Imagine that.
We keep telling people about Coco's.  I wish you had  a sweat shirt, or mugs with your logo.  Something to think about down the line.  If you want to open a Coco's Midwest  we'd be there everyday. After you open Coco's South of course. 
Fondly, Cherie Lawrence


Coco is Out and About. Visit some of our friends on Madeline Island, Bayfield, Cornucopia, and Ashland. See where the élite meet.


The croquembouche, pictured above, is a special Coco creation for a wedding. The cone-shaped assembly of light cream-filled French pastry is decorated with threads of caramel. It is delicious and beautiful. The name comes from the French words croque en bouche meaning 'crunch in the mouth'.




Fan Mail

I was in your bakery again this past weekend and you still keep amazing me with your wonderful food! In fact I was in there twice, once after a long bike ride with my girlfriend to split a sandwich and have a molasses cookie each, and again on my way home to the Twin Cities. Everything you and your staff make is great. The cinnamon roll I had was the best ever, flaky dough and not too sweet butter cream topping, loved it! I tell everyone I know whose heading to Bayfield to go through Washburn and stop. In addition your staff is really a great crew. I'll always remember stopping in last winter before your expansion to the steamy warmth of your wonderful bakery. Keep up the good work and I wish you great success in the future.—Brian McCarthy

We stayed in Washburn Sunday night and stopped by and had breakfast here. All I can say is, WOW!!! I'm so glad that we ended up here and didn't miss out on this wonderful place with amazing food! The cinnamon raisin stuffed French toast with caramel and bananas is to die for! I wish this place wasn't the better part of 9 hours and 500 miles away from me. We'll definitely be going here again if we are ever in the area again! Keep up the great work!—Jeremiah Beaver



Another Rave Review

OnMilwaukee, the city’s popular daily on-line magazine raved about Café Coco in a June 28 travel article, “Seven Wonders of Wisconsin: Bayfield and the Apostle Islands.” Publisher, Andy Tarnoff, wrote:

 Bayfield Apostle Islands story“There [Washburn], we ate at Café Coco, a place more known for its breakfasts and desserts, but one equally delicious for its soups and salads. The star of the meal, though, were indeed the desserts, particularly the carrot cake [pictured with Noreen] and an amazing Key lime pie. Coco is a must-stop when in the area, and locals all across the peninsula rave about it.

Be sure to read the article about the Bayfield and the Apostle Islands in our delightful corner of Wisconsin,
 OnMilwaukee, Seven Wonders story.



Café Coco Update GG

The bigger dining room seats 40. It is right next to Coco's current location on Bayfield Street. The two buildings are connected.

Delicious sandwiches

The expanded bakery and café features great sandwiches such as a Lake Trout Reuben, a vegan gyro, blue cheese & beef, as well as those famous Coco deli sandwiches.

Noreen and the Coco staff believe that food made fresh from real ingredients is best. Now there is more Coco to love. The expanded cafe serves cooked-to-order breakfast and lunch seven days a week 362 days a year. Check out the menu. Enjoy a leisurely meal, or grab a sandwich, home made soup or salad to go. Café Coco's bakery still makes wholesome bread and mouthwatering pastries and desserts fresh daily. It’s all there, but there is more of it, and all of it is delicious.


On Alaska Radio

Noreen Ovadia Wills, Coco’s proprietor and pâtissier extraordinaire, was interviewed on Barrow, Alaska, radio on Thurs., Sep. 29. Noreen was interviewed by Bob Thomas and Earl Finkler about the Coco menu, its superb food and Noreen’s efficient management style. Earl and his wife, Chris, stopped for lunch at Coco Café on their way from Madeline Island to their home in Medford, WI. In addition to the food, Earl was impressed by “the way a customer goes thru the line — quickly it seems — and how the staff help all the way.”

Barrow is the northernmost community in the United States. It is located on the Chukchi Sea coast, 320 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The Barrow community is traditionally known as Ukpeagvik, “place where snowy owls are hunted.” KBRW serves listeners in 88,000 sq. miles of Arctic Alaska and thousands more online.



Local whole wheat:
You can taste the difference

You’ve probably noticed the wholesome, nutty flavor of our bakery items containing whole wheat. That’s because the wheat is grown and milled just a few miles from our bakery in Washburn. We use fresh, local ingredients whenever possible. Of course, Bayfield County is famous for its apple orchards and berry farms. But it is also home of lots of small farms producing delicious honey, maple syrup, and garden-fresh produce.