Marina Nikolic, founder and co-owner of Angelic Desserts, behind the counter with Alexandria Forbus.
She’s on a sweet mission—and one that’s multi-layered.
Marina Nikolic, founder and co-owner of the bakery and café Angelic Desserts in North Naples at the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt, built a loyal following selling her organic cakes, pies and puff pastries at local farmers markets, and now she has a space of her own.
She takes pride in knowing hers is one of the only true bakeshops and cafés (and one that uses non-GMO products and zero preservatives at that), and on a recent visit, several regulars came in and barely needed to speak their requests for cappuccinos or coffees with almond milk. Others popped in for take-home orders of cupcakes and baguettes, and nearly every table was packed with friends catching up over sips and treats. When asked why she has so many gluten-free items, Nikolic says without pause, “I grew with my customers’ needs. Many of them were asking for gluten-free or vegan, so I’m making those now.”
Everything from spinach croissants to carrot cakes are baked in-house. The only exception is the bagels, per requests from Nikolic’s clients (she imports the dough from New York and boils them here).
But the real story behind the bakery and its recurring angel motif is bigger for its owners, Nikolic and Russell Underwood.
The inspiration behind the name and everything it stands for is Angela, the couple’s daughter who passed away at age 17 from cystic fibrosis. “The baking was my escape. I first baked for doctors and nurses, and then I baked to heal and move forward,” Nikolic says. “All of this has huge meaning to me. I don’t want to forget her. She keeps me going.”
Amidst the lineup of Key lime pies, cheesecakes, baklava and meringues, there is always a tray of “Angela’s Cookies” and packages of the heart-shaped linzers ready to go—and Nikolic and Underwood are donating the proceeds to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Honoring the legacy of her teenage daughter Angela, who died at age 17 of cystic fibrosis, the café features an angel motif—like in this cup of “Angela’s Cookies” (proceeds from sales of jam-filled linzers goes to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation).
To plan a visit:
2355 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Suite 120, Naples
Open Monday to Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.