On a chilly Sunday morning, Angelenos bundle themselves in scarves, shawls, and Uggs, and head out to the Hollywood farmers market. They flock with thousands others to the largest market in Los Angeles to fight through Manhattan-like crowds for organic and local produce. Amidst the sometimes maddening throngs of people are perhaps just two calming sanctuaries within the market. One is the Cafecito Organico coffee stand, and the other is Valerie at the Market, an offshoot of Valerie Confections. Grab a frothy latte to counter the too-early hangover, and choose from an assortment of sweet and savory pastries to feel calmed through and through.
What began as a handmade toffee shop in 2004 has given way to one of the city’s finest artisanal bakeries. Owner Valerie Gordon once said, “There’s something very seductive, almost spiritual, about chocolate,” and today, you’ll find seduction beyond just chocolate—you’ll find it in her tart fruit galettes, vegetable-filled hand pies, and from-scratch preserves. There’s a certain sparkle in the goods from Valerie, a gleam of old-fashioned integrity mixed with a flash of sex appeal. It must be all those ripe fruits.
While Valerie Confections, the original storefront in Koreatown, still focuses on traditional pastry goods like petit fours, wedding cakes, and a full-service catering menu, Valerie at the Market offers farmers market-specific foods using ingredients from the farmers on-site. Foods are sourced three times a week for a six-day intensive baking operation—new menus are mailed out each Thursday to alert customers of what’s been prepared.
For devotees of the Hollywood farmers market, stopping by the Valerie food stand is a must. A freshly made squash, feta, and mint hand pie, nestled inside a buttery potpie crust, is the antidote to any late Saturday night. And on the sweeter side, cream scones dotted with jam and butter might just have you convinced you’d been shopping this whole time at London’s Borough Market.
Weekly mailing list sign-ups, online orders, and a full calendar are all available online at Valerie Confections.
3360 West 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90004