Selling cookies isn’t exactly the first thing people think to do after losing their job amid a global pandemic, but for Lara Adekoya, it was her golden ticket.
After losing a long-held job at Nordstrom, the 28-year-old Black woman from LA took her unemployment as a sign that it was time to start her own business. Cue the birth of her now thriving baking company—Fleurs et Sel.
Fleurs et Sel, which means “flowers and salt” in French, started as an answer to pandemic woes, but make no mistake, Lara’s passion for baking cookies was something she always wanted to do.
In an interview with Shoutout LA, Lara details why she decided to go into this particular industry in the first place.
“I was inspired to start my business because I wanted to spread love and positivity during these challenging times.” She continues, “I wanted to connect with friends, share my cookies with a larger audience, and make quarantine a little bit more ‘sweet.’”
And with that, she got to work! Initially, she baked sea salt chocolate chip cookies to pass the time and shared the content on her social media pages.
She also sent cookies to her friends along with her loyal Nordstrom customers. This was just her way of reconnecting with them and making things a bit sweeter for them during quarantine.
However, she soon decided to turn this new hobby into a business. She didn’t have a lot to lose, after all. Her connections from her last job ended up being a blessing. They were the first to buy her cookies, and they even offered to promote the brand.
Lara’s unique, digital-first approach to getting her baked goods to the people also won tons of customers over:
“I am proud to say that I am transforming the baking industry with a digital first approach and a sharp focus on giving each customer a beautiful and personalized experience. Fleurs et Sel has already set itself apart from other bakeshops in Los Angeles.”
Celebrities such as Melissa Benoist, Lena Waithe, Jenna Dewan, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Issa Rae soon discovered her company and absolutely loved what she had to offer.
It spread so far and wide around the celebrity circles of Los Angeles that she eventually got the opportunity to cater for big studios like the Oprah Winfrey Network, A24, Amazon Studios and Netflix.
Although Lara and Fleurs et Sel are already headed to the major leagues, she revealed that she still wants to use social media and customer-centric skills to create her brand’s community in a way that is still personal and down-to-earth.
“Our cookies bring comfort and are meant to be shared with friends, family and loved ones.” She continues, “It brings me true joy that I have been able to share my story and journey of pivoting during the Covid-19 Pandemic with others. Everyone has been affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic, [and I’m] proud to have followed my dreams. O want to continue growing Fleurs et Sel and making my products more accessible.”
She hopes to transcend communities and different cultural groups so that people know young Black women can do many things.
Fleurs et Sel cookies currently come in several flavors such as Brownie Fudge Noir Extreme, Oreo Cookie Bae, Caramelized Butter Pecan, and Cinnamon Sugar Snickerdoodle.
They are sold in pop-up shops and online. Though Fleurs et Sel has only been open for a little over a year, Lara is planning on expanding her business, and to open a bakeshop and storefront in the near future.