Any chef will tell you when it comes to making great tasting, quality food, it not only takes great tasting and quality ingredients but knowing how to combine those flavors to make them work together instead of competing against each other. The story of Lola’s Street Kitchen works much in the same way. For owners David and Mandy Medina Lola’s is a product of great ingredients, but not just the kind that are cooked. The quality ingredients that make up the success of Lola’s come from connection, community, and family.
Most people know David and his family from their days running one of Heber Valley’s most popular Mexican restaurants, Tarahumarah. A few years ago, the family decided it was time to sell. At that time David thought he too would be done with the restaurant business, but as it often does, inspiration came from an unexpected source.
“We were watching the movie chef with my wife and kids. It was an inspirational movie and we were like this is what we want to do,” said David.
The call to cook was too strong and with some well-timed and well-placed inspiration they had the idea for a new food experience in Heber Valle. Before long David and Mandy would find themselves looking for a food truck to take to the streets of Heber Valley.
With an idea in place, it was time to gather the ingredients. There were things they had to gather like a food truck, planning menus, produce and cooking supplies. But there were some ingredients they brought with them that had been marinating since David was a kid. Like his love for cooking.
“I grew up in the kitchen. It was part of our culture to cook together and enjoy a meal together,” said David. Growing up in Mexico and later in the Heber Valley, David learned more about the food he likes to make and learned more about how community and culture influence his business and his food.
The community ingredient is very important to the Medinas. For them it helps them create connections with their customers and with other businesses. They partner with a local artisan bread company, Hawkins Sparrow, to help bake the bread they use in the store. David said this partnership has helped them conserve space in their new store as well as create a lasting friendship with the owner Andrew Berthong.
“People have been so good to us here in Midway. We love being here,” said David. “The support and feedback from the locals helps feed our creativity in driving us do new things.”
Additionally, family has always been a large part of his cooking experiences be it either in his home growing up or now in the restaurant he owns. Most days guests of the Lola’s will see family faces helping in the restaurant.
Over the past few years David and Mandy have honed and crafted Lola’s into a popular street kitchen. That success has led them to from a food truck on the side of the streets to a more permanent spot. Today, Lola’s has a physical location on Main Street in Midway where the still serve the same quality food with the same dedication to the community they love.
They Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce is Proud to recognize Lola’s Street Kitchen as the October Business of the Month.