Larchmont has been buzzing with delicious treats in the past few days. Saturday morning, hundreds of neighbors lined up for the opening of Levain Bakery at 8 a.m. We arrived around 7:45 a.m. to join the line that formed in front of the bakery at 227 North Larchmont, snaked around the corner along Beverly Blvd and went down Lucerne Blvd. And we heard there’s still a line as we posted this story!
Several people told us they arrived around 6 a.m. But those were relative latecomers compared to three brothers, Ralph, Allen and Brian Olivas, who told us they were the first people to arrive at 1:30 a.m. They told us they slept in their car and Levain Bakery staff left them start the line around 4 a.m., shortly after the staff arrived for work. Amazingly, though, they were still third in line! Dedicated Levain fans, the brothers discovered the bakery on their frequent trips to New York City for the U.S. Open Tennis Championships.
Later, Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez and Larchmont area Field Deputy Karla Martinez stopped by to present a congratulatory certificate to Levain Bakery owners Pam Weekes & Connie McDonald, who were on hand for the opening events, including a friends-and-family party Friday evening.
Omar Perez, Levain Bakery manager, and Pamela Ruales, his assistant manager, told the Buzz they will be in the shop every day, baking and serving fresh warm pastries throughout the day. Both are experienced bakers — before working with Levain, Perez worked at Eataly, and Ruales worked at Bottega Louie.
“We don’t do a massive bake off, we bake as we go because freshness and quality are very important,” explained Perez. “We want to make sure everyone has the same experience.”
Levain Bakery staff couldn’t be sure how many people were in line, but the turnout delighted the management team, who said they will be donating all the proceeds from the first day to Alexandria House, a transitional home for women and children, located in Wilshire Center and well known to the community.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Bacio di Latte delighted neighbors with free gelato to celebrate the opening of the brand’s Larchmont Village shop. We stopped by late in the evening to find manager Nathan Queiroz cheerfully serving gelato. Queiroz estimated they had served around a thousand cones and cups.