Lara Adekoya (Pauline Chatelan)

Lara Adekoya is bringing her love for Parisian-themed baked goods to West Adams. Fleurs et Sel has been widely recognized for turning a pandemic hobby into a national phenomenon. Adekoya recently celebrated the grand opening of her flagship bakery on March 23, making Fleurs et Sel a one-of-a-kind staple in the historical neighborhood.

In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Sentinel for Black Business Month, Adekoya discussed what keeps her inspired, how she was able to grow and scale her business, and why she took so many risks to reach her goals. She believes through cookies, compassion, and community, people can find a piece of happiness in their own backyard.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Adekoya was working as a sales associate at Nordstrom and in March of 2020, the company furloughed many of its employees, leaving her with an extensive amount of time on her hands. Growing up she spent a lot of time cooking with her mother. One afternoon during quarantine she called her mother for her oatmeal, chocolate chip, and walnut cookie recipe, not realizing that moment would be the catalyst for Fleurs et Sel’s infamous cookie drops in West Hollywood.

“I remember calling my mom for her oatmeal, chocolate chip, and walnut cookie recipe, she used to make when we were younger. I was like man I’m craving those cookies, so I asked her how to make them, and of course when you make 30 cookies you can’t eat them all, so I started giving them out.”

Related Links:

Fleurs et Sel Hopes to Open First Bakery with Help of Fundraiser | What Now Los Angeles

This L.A. baker started a COVID cookie company. Then Issa Rae and A24 came knocking – Los Angeles Times (

Get to Know Lara Adekoya, Founder of Fleurs et Sel, Home to LA’s Most Coveted Cookie |

How Lara Adekoya’s Pandemic Hobby Bloomed Into A Brick-And-Mortar Bakery In A Historically Black LA Neighborhood – AfroTech

How this 28-year-old’s pandemic cookie business became a celebrity favorite | Black EOE Journal (

Fleurs et Sel Cookies (Pauline Chatelan)

“April 2020 was my first round of cookie giveaways. My friend and former coworker Ashley was one of the first people to try the cookies. She made a thorough video review of the packaging and her experience. She started promoting the name, sharing on Instagram, tagging me, and that’s how I slowly built a cookie community which led to where we are today.”

Adekoya lived in France in high school for 18 months for an exchange program, where she learned French and got well acquainted with Parisian culture surrounding food and community.

“Living in France was a big moment in my life, I lived there when I was 15 and 16 which are very impressionable years. The French influence came naturally, Fleurs et Sel means ‘flowers and salt’ which is a play on words of sea salt in French because I use sea salt on the cookies, and I love flowers. When you go to Europe there are a lot of specialty places; like if you want cheese you go to the cheese shop, if you want bread you go to the bread shop, and so forth. I wanted to create my own niche shop.”

“My passion is being authentic and of service to people. The medium changed from what I thought was dentistry is now baking cookies and the business interest is still the same.”

While working at Nordstrom, Adekoya was pursuing a career in dentistry. The USC graduate received her degree in Global Health with plans of becoming a doctor. Those plans quickly changed after she decided to shadow her dentist after considering her own social impact being globally or locally. Adekoya’s underlying passion is connecting with people and providing genuine service. She credits her parents for instilling an esteemed work ethic that would later manifest into entrepreneurship.

Fleurs et Sel Cookies & Cream Dream Cookies (Pauline Chatelan)

When asked about her affection for community, Adekoya shared, “I’m one of four kids we have a big family that relentlessly supports each other. My parents taught me the importance of working together and staying together. One of the biggest reasons I wanted to go to USC was for the community and pride. Now I feel like I found the community I’ve been looking for; filled with people full of passion who are open minded. Our customers are diverse, passionate, happy people.”

Staying committed to the vision was not always easy. Adekoya explains compromise as a key component to advancing a business. “Some of the biggest challenges being a business owner are capital, raising money, saving money, and having enough money to do the things I want to do.  Of course, I would love custom pink boxes with silk ribbons that have my logo but when it comes to the bread and butter of the cost, we can’t do those things yet. There was a level of compromise I had to learn while maintaining the quality and the integrity of the product. I’m proud to be able to do this consistently. When I started my business, it was never to make money, I wanted to connect with people. I learned about business as I was building. I’m still learning every day as I go.”

Securing the bakery took two years of searching through the commercial real estate market, visiting different neighborhoods, saving money, and engaging property owners as potential landlords. Adekoya signed a lease for the West Adams location in 2022.

“There’s a lot of steps in between from ‘let’s have a bakery’ to being in a real space. A lot of thought went into creating the space, we have pink walls, a marble backdrop, items that remind me of France, like the gold floral letters on the windows which is a style in Europe. Back of the house is production focused because I have the infrastructure that I need to meet the demand. As beautiful as the front is, the business happens in the back.”

Fleurs et Sel’s retail space is whimsical. The glass display, the beautifully arranged flowers, and the porcelain sculptures perfectly placed on shelves near the large side window. Creating an experience customers can enjoy; the pink walls complement the backdrop right behind the register, where a smiling Lara Adekoya awaits to fulfill orders.

Fleurs et Sel is open Wednesday-Thursday from 12:00p.m. to 5:00p.m. and Saturday from 10:00a.m. to 2:00p.m., located at 5300 W Adams Blvd. Los An