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Via sunherald.com

Brooke and Bill Rester live upstairs, but downstairs is devoted to Dolce Bakeshop, their business that opened April 22 just off Jeff Davis Avenue and not far from Harper McCaughan Town Green. The Instagram-adorable shop holds a tempting array of goodies — cupcakes, enormous cookies, macarons, edible cookie dough, cakes and other treats — all made in house.

“I’ve dreamed of this for over 10 years now,” Brooke said. “My husband and I met in college, and I told him this is what I wanted to do. He came up with Dolce, which of course is the Italian word for sweet. For a lot of the past 10 years, I’ve baked custom cakes out of my home, and when the opportunity came to open a place, well, I had to take it.”

The bakery’s Facebook page describes the shop as “Italy meets the Gulf Coast with a perfect blend of classic Italian desserts and Southern pastries.”

“My husband’s favorite dessert is tiramisu, so I have the tiramisu cupcakes. And I love making cannoli,” she said. “And then you have things like the banana pudding cupcakes. So it’s a little bit Southern classics and a little bit Italian.”

She has a special cupcake flavor each week. This week, it’s Cookie Butter: a brown sugar cupcake stuffed with cookie butter and topped with browned-butter buttercream frosting.

And what’s the most popular cupcake so far?

“Hands down, it’s the Strawberry Shortcake cupcake,” Brooke said. “It’s light and refreshing, with whipped cream on top instead of buttercream, and a strawberry filling in the middle. You don’t feel like you’re cheating — as much.”

Classic cupcakes are $3.75 each, and stuffed cupcakes are $4, with macaroons at $2 each, cookies for $2.50, marshmallows at $1.50 each and cake by the slice for $3.50 Coffee and other drinks are also available, and there is a separate room where customers may enjoy their treats in comfort.

Of course, she’s still making custom cakes for weddings, birthdays, showers and other occasions.

“One of the cakes I came up with was for Bill’s birthday. It’s a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream and chocolate ganache drizzle. It’s topped with chocolate-dipped strawberries, cream puffs and chocolate truffles,” she said, describing her Chocolate-dipped Strawberry Cake.

Bill Rester is also heavily involved with the business.

“Oh, he’s 100 percent involved,” Brooke said. “He’s a school teacher, and when he can, he spends time in the kitchen with me. He handles the finances, the paperwork and a lot of the other behind-the-scenes part of the business.” Bill will start at Long Beach High School this fall as an English teacher. The couple moved from Picayune, where he taught theater.

The Resters came to Long Beach because Brooke had long wanted to return to her native area.

“I’m originally from Bay St. Louis,” she said. “I always had an idea of moving away, but I wanted to come back and be close to the water.

“When we first saw this place, the sun was already going down,” Brooke said with a smile. “We pulled into the driveway, and both of our mouths flew open. We knew this was just what we needed.”

Dolce Bakeshop is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; it’s closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The phone number is 228-216-2671.