Awesome news for those who love the nostalgia of the old Helms Bakery in Culver City: 44 years after closing, it’s re-opening. And at the—ahem—helm will be Sherry Yard, who has served as the executive pastry chef of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, and chef Sang Yoon (Father’s Office, Lukshon).
Expected to open in fall of 2013, the “revitalized Helms Bakery will feature a multi-space layout including a full-service restaurant for breakfast and lunch and a dedicated bakery with a take-away counter for prepared foods, as well as a retail section of specialty products” according to the press release. A preview version of the menu will be available to order from at Father’s Office 2.0 in Culver City beginning in January.
Long-time Angelenos undoubtedly remember the signature blue and yellow Helms Bakery trucks that delivered fresh pastries and bread to various neighborhoods around town from 1931 to 1969 before closing when their business model could no longer compete with “‘the irreversible reality’ of modern supermarkets” per an old L.A. Times feature on the company.
Awesome news about the re-opening aside, I also reached out to Chris Nichols, our resident L.A. history buff and eponymous author of the Ask Chris column, to see if he had a few cool Helms Bakery tidbits he could share, and naturally, he did. (Thanks Chris!)
Did you know…
- Helms bread was carried on the Apollo 11 capsule, earning it the distinction of being the first bread on the moon.
- Helms won the contract to supply bread to the 1932 Summer Olympic athletes, and promptly emblazoned their packaging with the branding “Helms Olympic Bread.”
- The Helmsman statue that once sat in front of the bakery was donated to Burton W. Chace Park in Marina del Rey and is still there today.
- LA84 Foundation, the athletic organization that Mr. Helms started now runs an amazing library and sports archive near USC, and continues to fund youth sports programs.
- Original Helms delivery coaches can still be seen locally at the Petersen Automotive Museum and the Lyon Air Museum.
- The Helms rooftop neon sign was restored in 2003 and is now powered by solar panels.
Helms Bakery, 8758 Venice Blvd., Culver City, helmsbakerydistrict.com