St.Pete, Fla.- It’s been around six months since Celine Duvoisin and her pure deliciousness of Valhalla Bakery goodies made their way to Baum Avenue Market in St.Pete. But, I still feel like the magnitude of how AWESOME this is for the Tampa Bay area has not been fully grasped. So, let me do my best to enlighten you through words and photos. It is so much more than just kick a*s pastries and savory bites. It’s about an amazing business owner, growing with the St.Petersburg downtown community.
The Story of Valhalla Bakery
If you follow me, let me rephrase that. Since you follow me, you know that part of my lifestyle is keeping things local. Sharing my support for local Florida entrepreneurial businesses and artisans with you when out and about is important to me. Whether it’s Jeff & Jenny of Nah Dogs, or Audrey & Brian from GDVD, as local business owners, these are the people giving back to the community. The same goes for Celine and Valhalla Bakery.
Growing up in British Columbia, Vancouver Island, as a teenager Celine embraced the street punk life. Going as far as to travel as a carny through Canada for a while. Through the years she also has had her battle with addiction, proudly telling me she is “20 plus years clean”!
That self-proclaimed “street punk” kid now employs 30+ people she calls family. She proudly offers her employees health insurance, paid maternity leave and I am sure a few fringe benefits on some edibles. (Wink,Wink)
Celines tenacity and her true connection to the communities she’s involved with have not gone unnoticed. Valhalla Bakery has been recognized and honored as Orlando’s best bakery, not once, but twice. I’d take bets we will see the same results in the Tampa Bay Area.
The popular chant “Victory or Valhalla", had strong meaning. It is Norse belief that a viking entering battle only has two potential outcomes-victory (live to fight another day) or Valhalla (die in battle and get accepted into Viking heaven).
Those Baked Goodies
This guy is no stranger to vegan desserts. Some are awesome, and some are, well, disgusting. I may be vegan, but I still can tell the difference between a cupcake and a Kale cake. One of the culinary practices Valhalla uses and I use myself when cooking is instead of using a “vegan recipe” I use my normal recipes and substitute. This isn’t easy for everyone, but it is something that Celine has mastered. Yes, I said mastered. When we first found Valhalla in Orlando, we would drive 2 hours each way for the treats. Let that sink in for a minute. This guy, me, would drive 2 hours each way to Orlando, on I4. Now are you starting to understand how good it is?!
From cupcakes and cheesecake, to breakfast turnovers and biscuits, I am pretty sure I could find something suitable for any time of the day.
As I said, these are just “a few” of my favorites. To be honest, anything I have tried from Valhalla seems to go right to “my favorites” list.
If you couldn’t tell from my raving, then I will be as clear as I can be, Valhalla St.Pete is Awesome! The menu has a wide variety of both sweet and savory baked goods that would satisfy both non-vegans and vegans. The flavors are on point, the staff is friendly and the selections are always changing, so you are gonna wanna make sure to give them a follow. You can try something NEW every time you visit!
Baum Avenue Market: located at 1113 Central Ave. St.Petersburg, FL. 33705.
- Closed Monday
- 10-7 Sun, Tues, Wed.
- 10-10 Thurs, Fri, Sat
*Valhalla will be relocating in September to 2462 Central Ave, on the corner of 25th and Central in the Grand Central District.
**Images of Celine Duvoisin courtesy of @lemonhearted (Thank you)