Behind the floral decor, the gourmet pastries and creative drinks of Nevada’s most Instagrammable café, Café Lola, sit a powerhouse duo of entrepreneurial and philanthropic women whose drive and ambition come from a place of love as evidenced by their friendship, their business partnership, their families and, of course, their hot spot café concept.
Founders Lin Jerome J.D. and Alexandra Lourdes PhD held full-time jobs at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). Lin was the Associate Director of Admissions at the Boyd School of Law and Alex with the Provost’s office in Student Affairs in charge of events. But they each had passion projects on the side. Lin, a self-declared Green Valley girl (shout-out to Gibson Elementary, Greenspun Junior High and Green Valley High School) had started the Las Vegas chapter of Ladies Who Dine with close friends from her National Charity League days, a community engagement organization pairing philanthropy with fabulous dining experiences. Alex had co-founded a popular foodie Instagram, highlighting and showcasing the best eats in town. It was their mutual friend and now Alex’s husband and business partner, Michael Santos, who identified their common interests and introduced the female phenoms.
After working well together at a Make-A-Wish Foundation charity event, the pair knew they had something special. The ladies credit a well-known culinary entrepreneur with their start - their mentor and champion, Elizabeth Blau (owner of Blau and Associates Restaurants, where Lin’s husband, Steve Jerome, was Managing Partner). Elizabeth, familiar with their refined tastes and talent for event marketing, hired Lin and Alex to manage a happy hour launch at one of Elizabeth’s Summerlin restaurants. After an incredibly successful event, she encouraged them to establish their own marketing company, later becoming their very first client at The Refined Agency.
Busy with their new endeavor, Lin and Alex left UNLV and began to meet and work remotely from their laptops at local coffee shops. They soon noticed a disturbing pattern: the coffee shops all had similar traits. Their minimalist decor was mostly dark wood and leather. They were dimly lit spaces with limited and often prepackaged food items. They found themselves having to go to multiple places in search of healthy and suitable lunch and snack options. These enigmatic, creative, and resourceful women decided to take matters into their own hands and create the perfect spot, a place they could enjoy and sit at comfortably all day, if necessary. They soon opened a fresh idea coffee shop concept aptly and lovingly named after Lin’s mother and Alex’s dearest puppy, Lola.
“We definitely wanted it to be a place that was inspiring and beautiful, a space where you could go and meet with other women, have tea with your friends or have a glass of Rosé and just feel comfortable,” explains Lin.
A step inside Café Lola’s and you’ll feel exactly what Lin is referring to. It is said that necessity is the mother of creation. Café Lola was one such creation, borne out of necessity it has quickly become one of the hottest spots in the valley.
Alex has used her art background and self-described foodie insights and Lin incorporates her own flair with being “obsessed with fashion, design and décor.” When you enter Café Lola, you really experience their vision and their investment of love. Alex modestly claims that they “created their ideal spot and that it took on a life of its own,” almost discounting their hard work and efforts, but there is a sense of pride in their accomplishment, as they reveal that they do absolutely everything themselves, from design to decor, as well as the food and beverages.
Café Lola’s guiding motto to “Do Everything with Love,” is evident. The space is visually stunning with bright, colorful, and tasteful decor complete with flower walls, crystal chandeliers and white furnishings. There are glowing pink neon signs with playful and inspiring quotes “I followed my heart, it led me to Lola” and “Whatever Lola Wants Lola Gets,” all Insta-worthy backdrops.
The drink, tea, and coffee creations are decadent and flavorful with names like 24K Gold Crème Brulée Latte, Unicorn Hot Chocolate, and Vanilla Berry Truffle Tea. They fill the space with the sweet scents of cinnamon, lavender, vanilla, and honey. The food is gourmet and prepared in-house from scratch daily. The menu offers extensive choices from couture doughnuts and extravagant baked delights - all from their own bakery - to full meals like the breakfast veggie scramble, soup and sandwiches, hearty salads and even a bistro burger. It is also a phenomenal space for events, from weddings to baby showers, business meetings, birthday parties or other special occasions and celebrations.
Lin and Alex are now working moms who zealously inspire and empower women, setting a living example for their own daughters. Prior to the pandemic they launched Women Who Slay, an annual conference to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of local women small business owners and influencers by providing resources and opportunities for networking and growth.
Café Lola is just one of three offerings in a growing family business, a conglomerate of Las Vegas chic and unique eateries built by Lin and Alex in partnership with their husbands, Michael and Steve. They call this collaboration Refined Hospitality, a hospitality consulting agency specializing in business and culinary development. Refined Hospitality is the force behind Café Lola and two other unique concept restaurants, Saint Honoré Doughnuts & Beignets and Pizza Anonymous.
Like everything developed by Refined Hospitality, the bakery offerings in particular have unique elegant and stylish aesthetic reminiscent of high fashion chicness. The bakery was initially planned to create a line of never seen or tasted couture, over the top, hand-made, limited edition and pastry driven doughnuts, baked in small batches with homemade brioche dough, but serendipitously became the exclusive provider of high-end baked goods to Café Lola. As Alex shared “there is no other doughnut shop, bakery, or coffee house like it in the country.” We would Insta-ntly agree.
Café Lola has two locations in the Valley, at 4280 S. Hualapai Way and in Henderson at 10075 S. Eastern Ave.