Portobello Road is always bustling with tourists, but within this bubble is a plethora of independent stores that hold the community together. We visited Tessa of Layla's Bakery in the midst of morning rush-hour to talk about pastries, pastries, and even more pastries.
Hi Tessa! Thanks for sitting down with us. How long have you been in the area/why this area?
I have lived locally since 2018, I absolutely love the area and the vibe. I chose to set up my business here because I always went to East London to buy pastries and I felt there was a need for pastries in West London.
What was your journey to start your business?
I worked for 26 Grains for 4 years which inspired me greatly to start my own business. Living just round the corner from Layla, I noticed a distinct lack of bakeries in West London baking on site and would spend my free time travelling to East London to buy pastries and good bread. I felt there was a missed opportunity in W10 for an artisan bakery. I was made redundant at the start of covid in 2020, and it was then that I set about making plans for Layla.
Any fond or funny memories about being here?
Having to get half the street to help bring in a 30 year old bread oven!
What’s the best thing about working in the neighbourhood?
Firstly, the community and having everything on my doorstep, friends, restaurants, cafes…
I walk down the road in the morning to buy milk and end up bumping into 2 people I’ve met since starting the bakery.
My dream customers are a local couple, Tim and his wife Andy. Tim buys pastries every morning while Andy chats to our head baker Colton and says good morning to the whole team over the counter.
What are some of your favourite local hideouts?
Meanwhile Gardens and the canal.
Vintage clothes under the Westway.
Dinner at the The Cow and then end up at The Distillery.
Favourite local place that everyone knows
Favourite local place that no-one knows
Mēs Pies & Wine on Harrow Road
3 local creatives that we should be aware of?
My friend who has the linen menswear company Flax, the jewellery store Tada and Toy and Speciale the bespoke tailors on Portobello Road. When you walk past you can see them sewing in the window.
Little known fact about you?
I can’t bake / I don’t bake!
Quick Fire Round:
Best pastry on the counter?
Choc and pistachio pain Suisse
Pain au chocolate or Pain au Raisin?
Pain au chocolate
Ideal sandwich filling?
BLT with kewpie mayo - we had it on the menu as a special and ended up keeping it for months because it was so popular!
Favourite song to bake/prep to?
Anything by Jack Harlow
Go-to after work meal?
The Cow - Westbourne Park
Thanks, Tessa! Finally, could you lend some parting words of wisdom?
If you don't do it, someone else will.
Visit Layla Bakery
332 Portobello Rd, London W10 5PQ
We visited Tessa of Layla's Bakery in the midst of morning rush-hour to talk about pastries, pastries, and even more pastries.