From Farmers Markets to Brick-and-Mortar: This Baker Gets an East Dallas Spot Next Year

The sight of a wonderful kolache on the wayEXPAND
The sight of a wonderful kolache on the way
The Naturally Curly Cook
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For a while, we’ve seen the creations of the Naturally Curly Cook at farmers markets, especially if you live in East Dallas.

But come January, anyone can get these goods (and more) any day of the week just off Skillman Street, not far from Live Oak Street.

Leila Bakery and Cafe will be the name of the brick-and-mortar, which is taking over the place currently occupied by Jack’s Kitchen.

The latter, of course, is one we’ve been aware of and unfortunately, its last day is Sunday, Nov. 24, according to the Leila owner. (We've reached out to Jack's Kitchen for comment; we'll update this post when we hear back.)

But come Dec. 1, Kelly Ball will take the keys to make the space her concept.

Kelly BallEXPAND
Kelly Ball
The Naturally Curly Cook

Ball announced the move on Instagram Wednesday, noting later on the phone that things are just getting rolling. But once they open (probably mid-January), here’s what we can expect.

“We specialize in quiche; we do natural, locally sourced whenever possible and just simple ingredients as we can to make everything fresh and delicious, from scratch, every day,” she says.

I first encountered her work under the Naturally Curly Cook name at the Good Local Markets’ Sunday market at Abrams Road and Mockingbird Lane (one of my favorites, by the way, but they've stopped it for the winter season). A jalapeño-sausage kolache made my day that time and surpassed those quick and easy ones you get at neighboring doughnut shops.

The bakery will have those, along with pies and pastries. The plan is to expand into soups, salads and sandwiches, “and coffee, of course,” Ball says.

“It’s going to be relatively small, a retail grab-and-go, a few small tables, fresh pastries. We’re going for a rustic, European-type feel, lots of wood and calming colors,” she says.

The name Leila comes from Ball's husband's aunt in Serbia.

"She gave me a lamp that we’ll be hanging in the store, and she is a lovely human being, always very warm and welcoming when we visit, taking off work to cook meals for us," Ball says. "I hope to incorporate a dessert recipe I learned from her, and our pastries in general have been influenced by my travels to Eastern Europe."

Ball recently moved but was previously in Lakewood for about 10 years. She got her start at the White Rock farmers market (also by Good Local Markets).

“I feel like a lot of our customers are in the Lakewood area, so we’re hoping we can get a lot of the same people so we can see them every day,” she says.

Leila Bakery and Cafe, 6041 Oram St. (East Dallas). Opening January 2020.

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