OK, mom, so what part of eating that cheesecake is making you feel guilty?
If you fear that little bubbela is annoying the other customers in the bakery, your worries are over.
The Essential Chocolate Collection, a Culver City bakery, is for parents who want an alternative to dragging their babies to Starbucks for an afternoon pick-me-up amid unsympathetic non-parents. Here, moms can indulge while their babies can crawl and play -- or make a fuss. It's OK because Fridays from 1-3 p.m., in the bakery's annex, are reserved for just this crowd.
"It's nice to have a latte and not have someone glaring at you," says event organizer Lara Sanders Fordis, who has an 11-month-old son. Her sister, shop owner Melissa Sanders, has added incentive to be welcoming: newcomers may get hooked on the goodies.
The free get-together (you do pay for drinks and dessert) is called Coffee, Mommy & Me, but it's not really a Mommy & Me class. Still, the organizers do schedule "programs." The recent schedule has included "Funtime with Nanny C," a "Free Organic Baby Food Tasting" and "Mommy Chair Massages." The Passover event on April 14 is pretty much all about food -- featuring chocolate macaroons, chocolate-dipped fruit and other treats. (The ingredients are kosher, but not certified kosher for Passover.)
Participating moms said they appreciated a chance to get out of the house and relax. And it's safe for baby: There are no sharp edges -- especially on the chocolate.
The Essential Chocolate Collection, 10868 Washington Blvd., Culver City. For information on Coffee, Mommy & Me, call (310) 287-0699.