Los Angeles is a colorful mix of pretty much every ethnicity, religion, race and sexual orientation. This geographical gift translates into the ultimate foodie scene, a complex fashion portfolio and a Babylon of neighborhoods living side by side. Some business owners are aware of this and some go out of their way to embrace and even celebrate the complexity of L.A. culture. We found the sweetest businesses around LA that go out of their way to make everyone, especially LGBTQ+ families, feel appreciated.
Owner Jeni Bauer redefined ice cream making and the art of business when she opened her first shop in 2002. Her ice cream is a Fourth of July fireworks sensation gliding down your tastebuds. It’s whole food ingredients, grass-fed cow milk and relationships with every family-owned company that provides her the magical ingredients to create her unique flavors.
#TeamJeni marches in Pride parades and donates a percentage of the profits to organizations that support the LGBTQ+ community. She has four locations in Los Angeles: Calabasas, Los Feliz, Venice and Larchmont Village.
First inspired by a little girl who couldn’t eat desserts because of allergies, Celine Ikeler became determined to help and created a garbanzo bean brownie that quickly became a hit in her neighborhood. Ikeler herself started eating a purely plant-based diet and opened her bakery using only vegan, high-quality, gluten-free ingredients that are surprisingly amazing. Her Karma Cakes look like the Hostess Cupcakes of childhood memory but taste insanely good and are much better for you. She also makes pizza rolls and bread with the same high standards. Her husband, Arek’s godfather, already made the Oscar-winning movie, Trevor, about a teen who realizes he’s gay and contemplates suicide. Both now support the Trevor Project and GLAD and regularly make unusual cakes by request of their LGBTQ+ customers. The bakery borders LA in Oak Park.
They’re not only about donuts and equality, they’re about making sure the donuts are Instagram-able hits! The unicorn and mermaid donut collections are the envy of cover models and they make a special rainbow donut for Pride month. Even though the donuts are made mostly of potato flour, they do have a smidge of wheat. So, if you’re gluten-free, make sure to special order in one of the two locations around Los Angeles, Canoga Park and, LA adjacent, Newbury Park.
Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken
It started on the ice rink where games were followed by good old-fashioned doughnuts and, years later, Elliot Spaisman and Jeff Halpern turned their love of comfort food into accolades for their fried chicken and unique doughnut flavors. Although Halpern is still heavily involved in the business of hockey, Spaisman keeps a watchful eye on the development of the three nationwide shops, one in Downtown LA. They make a rainbow donut for Pride month, too. Some guests like to put rainbow sprinkles on the chicken, too.
Many know of the great social strides the company makes to promote awareness of the many issues plaguing society as well as their effort to save the planet by sourcing only the most wholesome ingredients for their ice cream. They also have a movement specifically addressing LGBTQ+ rights and were the first employer in their home state of Vermont to give health benefits to same-sex domestic couples. After the Supreme Court ruled to recognize same-sex marriage, Ben & Jerry’s temporarily renamed the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream to I Dough, I Dough. Nice work, guys. They have five shops in Los Angeles.
As the new year quickly approaches, family travelers are busy making lots of plans for a year of great travel and a healthier 2024. And what better way to combine the two than with a beautiful hike through nature at one of California’s most beloved state parks?
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Last month, Comfort Hotels, part of Choice Hotels brand, unveiled its first Rise & Shine prototype, a game-changer for family travelers seeking safe, comfortable and fun stays on the road. The new Rise & Shine was revealed in the opening of Comfort Inn & Suites in Mountain Grove, Missouri, located near Mark Twain National Forest.
When the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., sent its three pandas to China in November, it left only one other U.S. zoo with these fascinating animals. Families now must travel to Atlanta to see pandas, but even those will soon return to China.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
If you haven’t heard of Light & Nine, you’ve been missing out on great travel gear designed by a mom with kids in mind. The line of duffels with side shoe compartments, roller bags, backpacks and garment bags come in fun colors including Blossom Pink and Bistro Green. Made from easy-to-care-for perforated materials, they also come with Nimix characters and motifs, so your small travelers can customize their travel gear with movable/removable icons ranging from race cars to rocket ships, skateboards to paper dolls, rainbows to unicorns.