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Lorca Coffee Bar

The Inspiration Behind Our Favorite Local Cafe

When thinking about our favorite local coffee shops, Lorca is the first place that comes to mind. Located inside Fleisher’s in Cos Cob, they serve up amazing coffee, an assortment of breakfast and lunch options, and the best baked goods. We spoke to Lorca’s owner, Leyla Jenkins, and discovered the inspiration behind Lorca! 

Lorca has locations in Cos Cob and Stamford. Go for the coffee and stay for the delicious food! Each location has unique offerings in addition to their core drinks and baked goods menu.

I was inspired to open Lorca when I found myself overworked and unhappy with my job as an architect during the recession in 2008. I caught myself dreaming about what I was going to cook for dinner or bake that weekend. After quitting my job, I signed up for free business classes through the city of NY, worked part-time at a cafe, and nannied part-time. I pieced together some experience at several cafes, developed recipes, and put together a business plan to pitch to investors. Lorca was opened in 2011 in Stamford just 10 minutes away from where I went to middle and high school after moving here from Spain. 

Growing up in a Spanish household, we would all congregate around the kitchen island and help my mom chop, stir, and sauté every night. Almost every significant moment as a family was spent in the kitchen. 

In Spain, an after school snack typically consists of something sweet. When we were living in Granada, I'd get home from school and my mom would come up with baking projects that were simple enough for a 6 year old to help her with. One of those recipes is the original version of one of Lorca's staples: the orange olive oil cake.

Below is the recipe for Lorca's orange olive oil cake, inspired by afternoons baking with my mom in Spain.

Olive Oil Cake

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • zest from 1 small orange
  • juice from the orange (be sure to strain the seeds)
  • 1 cup plain (unsweetened) yogurt
  • 1 cup olive oil (the milder the better)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350º

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar

  3. Add orange zest, orange juice, yogurt, and olive oil and whisk.

  4. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and fold everything together using a rubber spatula until completely smooth.

  5. Thoroughly butter and flour the sides of a bundt pan or 2 loaf pans.

  6. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 27 minutes until golden brown, rotating the cake halfway through. Use a stirrer to check the cake is done; it should come out clean with no batter on it. 

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