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Copenhagen Pastry's Sweet Grand Opening

The Danish pastry shop celebrated its official opening Sunday in Culver City. People stopped by for free samples of what many new customers hail as "light-as-air" and "truly authentic" treats.

Copenhagen Pastry announced its arrival in Culver City , and after just two weeks, owner Karen Hansen is already starting to recognize regular customers. A week ago, she said, a young man came in to her shop and left with a bag full to the brim with pastries, only to return an hour and a half later.

"He had eaten all of the pastries and said his girlfriend would be angry if he didn't bring some back," she said, laughing.

To celebrate the shop's success and toast to its future, the bakery held a grand opening party Sunday afternoon. In a small parking lot next to the store employees served customers free samples of its most popular pastries: the Water Kringle (comparable to the taste of a cinnamon bun, but with a lighter texture); the Copenhagen (custard-filled) and the Kringle (almond-coated). Customers trickled in and out to purchase the shop's wide variety of other selections, such as the handcrafted rye bread of Head Baker Henrik Gram.

Both Gram and Hansen were born and raised in Denmark. Gram grew up working at a Danish bakery, and Hansen grew up eating Danish baked goods. She moved to the United States in the 1980s, and was working for a photo advertising agency in Culver City until about a year ago, when she developed the concept for a pastry shop.

The bakery's location on Washington Boulevard just a few blocks from the entrance to the 405 freeway, was a strategic business choice on Hansen's part. 

"We want people to come from not just Culver City but the beach areas, the Westside, all over," she said. "If there's one thing we know, it's that people will drive for good pastries, especially authentic Danish pastries."

Hansen said Culver City businesses and residents have welcomed the pastry shop to the neighborhood.

"With a local business, you want the neighborhood to be behind you," she said as she turned to greet some members of the fire department that had stopped by to congratulate her on the opening.

Hansen visited the fire department with a box of pastries a few days after the bakery's soft opening. The box was empty within 20 minutes of her delivery, fireman Robert Kelley said.

"They're the best pastries I've ever had, and I've been around for a while so that's saying a lot," Kelley said.

Americans are developing a taste for Danish pastries, said Marianne Jeffers, a close friend of Hansen and fellow Dane.

"When I came here from Denmark in 1977, you couldn't find good pastries anywhere. Now Americans love Danish pastries," Jeffers said. "As a Dane, let me tell you, these are true Danish pastries."

Copenhagen Pastry is located at 11113 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232. It is open during the week from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Have you tried Copenhagen Pastry’s fare yet? Tell us in the comments, below.

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Crystal Czarnecki Alexander July 16, 2012 at 01:52 PM
We went to their grand opening on July 15. The pastries were great. I especially enjoyed the bread like texture of the water kringle. It's actually the kringle one that has the almonds.
Marla Wolkowitz July 16, 2012 at 03:02 PM
And, we also bought a low sodium loaf of bread.
Mercedes July 16, 2012 at 03:58 PM
I was born in Lima, Peru and I remember my father taking me to eat European pastries as a treat. Whenever my husband and I go to Solvang, we always have pastries. When I heard that Copenhagen Pastry Shop was to open in Culver City, we would go by waiting anxiously for the bakery to open its doors. FINALLY! it opened. We just happened to be going by, just to see if they had opened. Luck was with us, it was yesterday, the day they had their grand opening. We brought home a large box with one of everything they had. They are all my favorites. They are DELISH! Mercedes & Bob Anderberg
Frances Chernik July 16, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Karen - Mike sent me article about your opening of Danish pastry and I'm so pleased for you. I wish only the best and great continued success. Always knew you were a smart and creative woman. I hope to be able to visit and purchase pastries. Love, Frances Chernik

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