Lonely Planet Writer

LA has a kitschy new bakery based entirely on s’mores

If Oliver Twist was around for this latest opening, chances are he would too have said, “please sir can I have a s’more?”

Are you ready for s’more? Image by Gotta Have S’More

The quintessential American campfire snack is on the agenda for a new bakery located in the increasingly buzzed-about Fairfax area. Gotta Have S’More takes the classic and turns it on its head, with unique flavors and quirky designs. Gotta Have S’More is the latest venture of Annalisa Mastroianni Johnson, a bona-fide culinary force on the Los Angeles cuisine scene. Johnson launched the popular Annie’s Edibles service in 1997, delivering nutritional home-cooked meals to those working overtime (read: everyone) in Hollywood. Robert DeNiro, Cher, Stevie Nicks, Matthew McConaughey, and Queen Latifah eventually became clients.

S’mores are a favourite childhood treat in America. Image by Gotta Have S’More

Still, Johnson needed s’more. Inspired by the go-to treat of her youth, she knew she had to give it the resurgence and center-stage treatment it deserved. “I really love the combination of all of the flavors. Breaking down the anatomy of a traditional s’more, you have the crunchy graham-cracker, the sweet milk chocolate, the gooey marshmallow,” Johnson told Lonely Planet. “It’s been really fun to be able to take those core ingredients and create a fresh take, while still keeping the integrity of it’s traditional counterpart.”

With online business booming, a bricks-and-mortar location to offer salted caramel, pumpkin pie, PB and jelly, and Mexican hot chocolate-flavored s’mores was a no-brainer. “S’mores are America’s favorite childhood treat, and who doesn’t want a bite of nostalgia but with an elevated feel? We want to emphasize that you no longer have to sit around a campfire to enjoy a s’more. You can add dark chocolate instead of milk and use a red velvet base instead of a traditional graham-cracker, but the feeling is still there,” she mused.

The bakery is in Fairfax, LA. Image by Gotta Have S’More

Johnson’s own childhood memories are synonymous with the campfire classic, which makes it even more sweet that she can now collaborate on new offerings with her 11-year-old son. “My parents would take us camping, and every night they would break out the s’more ingredients. We would have a great time roasting the marshmallows and getting our fingers sticky. Perfecting marshmallow timing is an art,”she laughed. “We just launched our S’mookie, which is a s’more and cookie combo that replaces graham-cracker with cookie. It’s the brainchild of my son, and it’s been very popular. We are excited to see our brand grow in a whole new way.”

Gotta Have S’More will open on 1066 S Fairfax Ave on 7 June, 2018.