Strolling Around the Helms Bakery District

Last week I was invited to the Getty for a special event and was eager to go. So one afternoon I headed on over.  I was cruising down the freeway and then suddenly traffic backed up and I had to stop. And wait. And wait. And wait. I got off the freeway and tried to find alternative routes but before I knew it my ETA was at about the time the event ended and I had to call it – I wouldn’t be going to the Getty after all.  It turns out we had a certain presidential visitor in town resulting in a total shutdown of the freeway. Sigh. Before heading home I decided to turn lemons into ice cream and headed for a quick treat from Coolhaus in Culver City. Just down the street from the ice cream shop is Helms Bakery District and I decided it was the perfect time to revisit one of my favorite Art Deco spots.

In 1931, the family owned Helms Bakery opened in Culver City and soon became one of the leading area suppliers of bread and other baked goods. For years the business thrived and Helms was even the official bread of the 1932 Olympics and the Apollo 11 mission.

But times change and by the 1970’s Helms was out of business. Luckily, unlike other significant industrial buildings, the factory was not torn but instead faithfully restored. Now operated as the Helms Bakery District it’s home to several design showrooms and restaurants.

The main structure houses the ultra hip H.D. Buttercup – featuring an incredible collection of furniture and decor.

The showroom is huge! Wandering around and around it’s easy to see how it once was an industrious factory churning out massive amounts of baked goods. Several of the structural elements remain.

And there’s even a mini museum devoted to Helm’s history!

That’s what I especially love about the Helms Bakery District – its total embrace of its history.

There’s even a fun mural dedicated to the once ubiquitous Helms Bakery truck.

I just wish that patio didn’t obscure it so much! The patio actually belongs to the recently opened Pasta Sisters restaurant that I definitely need to try. Next time I’ll head to the district BEFORE hitting up Coolhaus.

Sometimes, things don’t go according to plan but that doesn’t mean the day is totally lost. Sure, I may have missed my event at the Getty but I can’t really complain. I had a delicious ice cream sandwich and enjoyed a lovely stroll around a delightful Deco gem. My afternoon was a success after all.


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