Historic Beachside City
The city of Cocoa had a somewhat tumultuous early history. It was chartered in 1895, but settlement had already been active for some time – indeed, the city’s first business district was largely lost to a fire five years previously. The first known store in the town, established in 1885, escaped the fire and is still open today. The very first winter under the city’s official status saw a freeze that wiped out the local citrus crop, and many residents left. The town’s population dropped below 400 and the town was at risk of disappearing altogether. When the railway was extended southward from Jacksonville, however, the city gained a new lease on life and began to grow.
No one is quite sure how the town got its name – a local tale says that the town’s mail was placed in a box of baker’s cocoa, and the name simply stuck.
Working In Cocoa
The city’s economy is dominated by construction, retail and light manufacturing. However, there are a number of highly regarded tourist attractions in the area as well, including the popular historic downtown. Notable employers in the area include Kel-Tec, SpaceX and the University of Central Florida.
Getting There – And Staying There
Served by Interstate 95 and the more picturesque US Highway 1, Cocoa is often conflated with nearby Cocoa Beach, which formed in the 1920s when Cocoa’s city attorney bought the land for development, though the towns are separate.
Once there, visitors and residents enjoy the many attractions of downtown, including not only the Cocoa Village stores and restaurants but also the Brevard Museum of Science and Natural History, the EFSC Planetarium and Riverfront Park.
Business Opportunity In Cocoa
Cocoa partners with several other nearby towns in the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce, an organization representing over 1,500 partners across all industry sectors and hosting a huge number of local events. New members are very much welcomed, and the Chamber offers a variety of perks and resources to help entrepreneurs establish themselves in the area.