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Our Team

Chef Earl ValleryPhotograph of Chef Early Vallery, Bowerbird's Founder, Pastry Chef, and Bon Mangeur

Founder, Pastry Chef, Bon Mangeur

Pastry Chef Earl Vallery has 14+ years experience in the food world, both in and out of the kitchen: from managing the crew at Tecolote Farm and teaching at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin, TX, to working in cave-like, fluorescent-lit corporate bakeries and mom-and-pop pastry shops alike. In 2017, he settled in his new home of Charlottesville, VA, and pursued a project all his own: Bowerbird Bakeshop

He enjoys dogs and all of the food. All of it.


Photograph of Maria Niechwiadowicz, Bowerbird's Pastry Sous Chef, Manager, and Joy MakerMaria Niechwiadowicz

Manager, Pastry Sous Chef, Joy Maker

Maria hails from South Dakota where she grew up cooking with her dad and baking Scandinavian treats from her grandmother’s recipe book. Just like the Bowerbird builds its nest out of eclectic and interesting pieces, so has Maria journeyed thus far. From musical theatre, to children and youth ministry, teaching English abroad and implementing food education programs in Charlottesville- creating and sharing food has always been a central part of each chapter. Maria is a creative can-doer who keeps the team organized and uses her experience in cultivating community to ensure Bowerbird is living out its mission everyday.

In her free time Maria enjoys hiking with her spouse, drinking wine on her patio, teaching dance fitness, and nurturing her sourdough starter.