Heather Wong is not your average baker. In fact, long before she was creating mesmerizing lavender lemon marble cakes, Ube white chocolate chip cookies, and matcha milk tea bars at her popular pop-up Flouring LA in downtown Los Angeles, she was delivering her custom desserts across the city by scooter.
“I still have that scooter. It’s currently collecting dust,” said Wong. “Early on in my twenties when I was baking – a very young baker – I thought it’d be cute and kitschy to deliver desserts on the scooter. And it worked for a while, until it didn’t because I kept dropping desserts,” she laughingly recalled. Needless to say, things have changed.
A late bloomer, she discovered her love of baking in college, though not at any culinary school. “It’s kind of crazy. I never ever thought I would go into baking. It was never a childhood passion of mine. It was something I discovered while going to college,” she shared. “I got a job at a bakery and discovered that I was actually good at it. So that kind of started my road into pastry. I was in my late twenties at the time. It was super, super random going to school for anthropology and then coming out as a baker. It was…unexpected.”
That career shift would ultimately prove to work out well for Wong. To date, she has served as executive pastry chef at numerous restaurants and appeared as a semi-finalist on The Food Network’s beloved Spring Baking Championship. Nowadays she is the culinary mastermind behind Flouring LA, a pop-up in DTLA’s Arts District, turning out divine pastries unlike anything else on the market.
With the assistance of a small women-led team, Wong officially launched Flouring LA in the summer of 2020 after she found herself without work. “I opened a bakery for somebody last year and two months after it opened, it closed down. I was out of work. I started Flouring LA a couple months later just to keep the baking spirit alive,” said Wong. “We just put together a collection of our favorite desserts in a box and we decided to do a curbside, drive-by pop-up, which did really well. The response was great.”
Wong’s signature brand of one-of-a-kind creations can be best described as intricate works of art cleverly disguised in buttercream frosting. “I just love modern abstract art and colors and everything of mine is super bright,” said Wong. Some of her creations include the bakery’s famous cake bars, passionfruit tarts with guava glaze and raspberry meringue topped brownies. Flouring LA lives up to its name as vibrant edible blooms like violas, pansies and lavender can be found adorning many of its colorful creations.
What’s more, Wong uses only sustainably-sourced, organic ingredients from local farmers and vendors. “In the food industry there’s so much waste and it’s painful. You want to feed the community big, beautiful things and help the neighborhood by serving a purpose, right? But you also are wasting so much stuff,” she said. “Having been in the restaurant industry for over 10 years, with Flouring LA I wanted to slowly make a change with my own little company by buying and sourcing my ingredients from local purveyors, local farmers and supporting them and knowing their practices are sustainable.”
Like so many in her industry, Wong is entirely self-taught. “I come up with things literally last minute because I feel like I work better under pressure,” she said. “I get my most creative when there’s an immediate need to figure something out. I’m just the best procrastinator. The worst planner.”
Under that pressure, Wong has created an ever-changing menu that continues to wow customers.
So could this pop-up become a permanent installation? Wong’s response: “100%”. Angelenos will have to wait and see if it is here to stay. For now, locals can pre-order their desserts for delivery or pickup from Flouring LA at Urban Palate in DTLA Arts District.
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