Zookies is more than a children’s gift store – it’s a family community hub.

If there is one thing an LA mom knows how to do, that is shopping. LA moms know what’s hot, what’s green, what their families needs to stay in the know while also being well-connected to their communities. Lora Jakobsen is just that LA mom except she went one step further. She opened Zookies, a unique children’s gift shop and gathering place in the family neighborhood of Toluca Lake.

If you recognize the name Zookies (rhymes with “cookies”), it’s because this brand of children’s gifts and clothing has been sold in stores such as Kitson, Jaks, Lilly Lane and even the Museum of Contemporary Arts for years. Jakobsen decided it was time to take her beloved brand and localize it to the city she loves. The new Zookies store offers products from her known catalog, but also products made by “mompreneurs” based in the Los Angeles area that are made with environmentally safe and non-toxic materials.

Jakobsen not only promotes green living, but believes in supporting local moms and her community. Stepping it up one notch to turn Zookies into a new local mom favorite, the store has several options for kids. There is storytime every Friday at 10am and a community book exchange during the first week of every month. There are also several affordable and unique drop-in classes for kids after school. That’s right: your kids can be enriched in classes such as Mad Science, Super Hero of the World (teaching how to be good citizens of earth) and Lotions and Potions (think spas for kids) while you get your shopping done at the Trader Joe’s across the street or shop at the many other boutiques in this walkable area. Cost is only $10 per class (or $8 for a package of 6 classes) and pre-registration is required.

Through April 30, Zookies as they will be collecting diapers for LA Diaper Drive, an organization that donates diapers for families in need in the Los Angeles area. You can stop by with diapers or donations (open diaper packages are OK) to join Zookies in supporting this fabulous cause.

Jakobsen hopes to expand Zookies to not only become your favorite children’s gift store, but a place for LA moms to connect and create lasting friendships and a stronger sense of community.

Yolanda Machado is the Sassy Mama in L.A. LA Native, valley girl for life, when she isn’t stuck in traffic, she enjoys movies, wine, food and discovering new places to take her family throughout LA while avoiding the 405.