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The concept of Lola’s Chicken Shack is simple… Serve fresh, made from scratch, wholesome food at an affordable price in a friendly, welcoming environment. You’ll find that the Rogers family has accomplished this at their 1417 Park Street location in Downtown Alameda.
After more than three decades in the food business, Alameda resident Mark Rogers felt that quality chicken was an under-served item and had the potential for a new approach. As he, his wife Nancy, and son Ryan began to develop the concept, there were a few key goals that were essential. The food had to be:
- Fresh and made with “real” ingredients.
- Flavorful with an emphasis on savory and healthy.
- Served in a friendly, clean atmosphere with a goal of exceptional hospitality.
The first goal was fairly easy since the Rogers have always been “foodies,” long before the term ever became popular. Many of the recipes are items that they have been making at home for years, and in some cases, generations!
“We understand the benefits from healthy eating and home cooking,” says Nancy. “I was raised on fresh, homemade foods and continued that tradition with my own family. We have always loved to entertain friends and family with the focus on the meal. Lola’s is an extension of that.”
For the second goal, Mark did his research and started experimenting with Koji, which is a rice malt that has been fermented with sea salt. Koji is a live food (probiotic, like yogurt) that is rich in beneficial enzymes and a natural tenderizer that brings out the “umami” (natural flavors). He found that marinating the chicken in Koji keeps the chicken moist and juicy.
“I don’t know of any other restaurant that prepares their chicken with Koji like we do. It definitely makes a difference,” said Mark.
As for the third goal, the Rogers have always had a strong sense of family, friends, and community. “We tell our employees that we want everyone who comes to Lola’s to feel welcomed and comfortable. Many restaurants have good food but at Lola’s the goal is to have excellent hospitality as well.”
Opening in the former Boniere Bakery location has been an added plus for these fourth and fifth generation Alamedans. Nancy, and then her own family, was raised on Boniere bread. “I spent a lot of time in Boniere Bakery from childhood on up. Friends used to tease me about having Boniere on my speed-dial right after my mom! Negotiating our lease with the Becks was more like a reunion than a business deal,” Nancy shared.
Since opening in December 2013, Lola’s Chicken Shack has become part of the Park Street community. They support many community and school groups with their Dine & Donate program, sponsor a Little League team, and donate to many causes. They also support green business practices by using a bicycle delivery service (perfect for Alameda), using reusable products whenever possible, and recycling.
There’s something for everyone at Lola’s. Besides the excellent chicken tenders, patrons can choose from a selection of creative sandwiches, salads, soups, and the very popular Lola Mac & Cheese.
Teaching the next generation that “real” food can be tasty, healthy, and more satisfying than fast foods is another goal the Rogers have set for themselves. And they are well on their way of succeeding with that goal as well.
Nothing gives the Rogers family more pleasure than having young families tell them that Lola’s Chicken Shack is their (and their children’s) favorite restaurant.
View Menu and Delivery Option: www.lolaschickenshack.com
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Downtown Alameda’s Park Street Business District offers great food & drink establishments, charming shops, friendly services, and fun things to do! To learn more about the businesses and events in Downtown Alameda, visit our website: www.ShopParkStreet.com/news. You can also find the “Park Street Business Association” on Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites.