Cocoa is a city in Brevard County, Florida, United States. The population was 16,412 at the 2000 census. As of 2008, the estimated population according to the U.S. Census Bureau was 16,478. It is part of the Palm Bay–Melbourne–Titusville Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Cocoa was founded by fishermen with the first families arriving around 1860. A post office was established at Magnolia Point and the city's first commercial building was erected around 1881. First plats of the new settlement were made in 1882 under the name "Indian River City" on land owned by Captain R. A. Hardee. The name Indian River City was unacceptable to the U.S. Postal authorities who claimed it was too long for use on a postmark.
The origin of the city's name is uncertain. In 1925, the Cocoa Tribune published several reader-supplied accounts of the town's naming. One reader credited Captain R.C. May with recommending the name at a town meeting in 1884. At Captain May's suggestion, the group finally chose the name "Cocoa" for the town's association with the Cocoa tree. The name was forwarded to Washington, D.C. where it was approved. Another story suggests that an old woman was inspired by a box of baker's cocoa and her suggestion was adopted. Still another version suggests that along the bank of the Indian River lived an old woman who would supply hot cocoa to sailors as they traveled along the river. As they passed, they would call out "cocoa, cocoa" until the woman supplied them with refreshment. Whatever its origin, by 1884 the name Cocoa had become permanently associated with what was then an infant settlement.