October 04, 2018

Sweet LaLa’s Bakery to Open a Retail Location in East Memphis

The Commercial Appeal

By Jennifer Chandler

Life is about to get a little sweeter in East Memphis.

Sweet LaLa’s Bakery is opening a retail bakery and café in Regalia Center. The bakery and café will be in the former Lori James spot at 6150 Poplar Ave., Suite 118.

Lauren Young, Sweet LaLa’s founder and owner, decided it was time to add a retail component to her 17-year-old business.

“I started Sweet LaLa’s out of my home kitchen back in 2001,” Young said. In 2014, she formed a partnership with JIFF, a juvenile intervention facility in Downtown Memphis, to expand the business while helping the community. For the past four years Sweet LaLa’s has baked its cookies out of JIFF’s kitchen, employing JIFF students.

Production will move to the new space at the corner of Poplar Avenue and Ridgeway when the new bakery opens.

The retail space at Regalia Center is close to 3,000 square feet and includes an upstairs. The bakery, retail space and café will be on the ground floor.

The bakery will offer her signature cookies, plus other baked goods, soft serve ice cream and light breakfast items. Lisa and Luis Toro of Bending Neon are helping Young develop a coffee menu for the café.

“We will also be featuring local sweets and foods such as Backhouse Foods dessert toppings, Bluff City Toffee and Shotwell Candy Co. caramels,” Young said. These items will be available individually or in specially designed gift boxes.

“Our goal and motto is ‘to make life a little sweeter,’” Young said.

The upstairs space will be used for special events and community gatherings that Young hopes will give customers an “in the kitchen” experience.

“We believe being in the kitchen inspires great relationships and great conversations,” she said.

Peter Warren with Warren Architecture is the architect for the space and Natalie Lieberman of Collect + Curate Studio is the interior designer.

Sweet LaLa’s should open in the beginning of 2019. In the interim, its cookies will still be available in retail shops and restaurants across Memphis as well as by special order at sweetlalas.com.8