October 2023 is shaping up to be the month for prominent Smorgasburg vendors to make the leap from pop-up status into a permanent eatery. Earlier this week, Saucy Chick Goat Mafia opened in Pasadena, while B’ivrit moved into a space in Cypress Park on October 12. Now it’s time for Lei’d Cookies to make its debut in Culver City.
Lei’d owners Leilani Terris and James Lewis met in a bakery and understand the grind it takes to operate one. They debuted Lei’d Cookies one year before the pandemic. The future husband-wife team has more room to operate now inside the former Coolhaus Shop, which will feel familiar for locals except there’s more color and plants. Throw in products from fellow Smorgasburg businesses Be Bright Coffee and Rickki’s Wikkies candles on a wall next to the entry, plus ice cream from Sad Girl Creamery and Kinrose Creamery. If those in Northeast LA aren’t willing to drive to Culver City, Saucy Chick Goat Mafia secured Lei’d Cookies as a dessert vendor.
Lei’d has counter seating next to the front floor-to-ceiling windows and more industrial space to bake their cookies, which span through the world’s cultures. “We find inspiration in amazing places around the globe,” says Terris. “We find their desserts to be great,” says Terris. “So our challenge is: how can we put this in a cookie?” Try the traditional chocolate chip, mango sticky rice, guava goat cheese, plus a Mayan-inspired cookie that packs heat with dark chocolate, cinnamon, and cayenne. There’s also a gelatinous, coconut-filled cookie spin on the Filipino dessert buko pandan sapin sapin. Finally there’s even one that encapsulates s’mores in cookie form.
When visiting Lei’d Cookies, be sure to look at the western-facing wall which has a map that illustrates the span of worldwide flavors utilized in the bakery. Those in Culver City will also have another bakery headed their way in late 2023, as Nicole Rucker will debut a Westside outlet for Fat + Flour.
Lei’d will remain at Smorgasburg every Sunday. Terris says the weekly market is a fundamental part of their business. “Smorgasburg has made us recognize that we are stronger and better together, and that greatness happens when we collaborate and push each other to reimagine what is possible,” says Terris. “Without Smorgasburg we wouldn’t be here today. It’s given us the platform to be discovered, to learn, to grow. We attribute [Smorgasburg] to catapulting us to this point.”
Lei’d Cookies is open Wednesday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 8588 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA, 90232.