Tucked away on Bedford Street in downtown Stamford is hidden gem and coffee shop, Lorca. The café opened in the winter of 2012 and its Spanish charm has captivated the community ever since.
A haven for true coffee aficionados, Lorca has a local feel that customers agree cannot be matched at any Starbucks location. The shop’s unique interior design and vibrant mural add to its personality, making Lorca incomparable to most cafés around Fairfield County.
Though Convent of the Sacred Heart girls tend to gravitate towards large chains like Starbucks and DunkinDonuts for a caffeine fix, many appreciate Lorca’s individuality.
“Getting coffee at Lorca feels so much more personal and authentic, which are qualities I think a lot of restaurants and coffee shops are missing these days,” senior Gaby Lopez said.
Owner Ms. Leyla Dam describes Lorca’s vibe as being a mixed influenced from both Brooklyn and Europe. Having grown up in Spain and later learning the art of churro-making in Sevilla, Ms. Dam opened Lorca with her Spanish culture in mind.
“In order to be different enough from other coffee shops, we need to offer something that is very much our own, and the Spanish and Hispanic treats allow us to do just that,” Ms. Dam said.
While Lorca fans tend to distinguish the shop for its defining delicacies, churros and coffee, the most popular item on the menu is their alfajores. These delectable Argentinian cookies are Ms. Dam’s mother’s recipe and add to Lorca’s sense of cultural tradition.
“A big part of the culture in Spain is spending time in the kitchen as a family, helping prep food, helping sample, and learning what you can,” Ms. Dam said. “I would shadow my mom in the kitchen and watch her cook all the time.”
As Lorca continues to gain exposure and a devoted customer base, it will continue to be involved with the community. The coffee shop hosts regular knitting and book club meetings, and exhibits a rotating display of local artists’ work.
Because Lorca’s space is on the smaller side, many patrons prefer visiting on weekdays rather than during busy weekend hours. While Saturday and Sunday mornings tend to draw in large crowds, weekday visits often have fewer customers and a quieter ambiance.
Ms. Dam hopes to bring a greater Spanish influence to her menu in the future, along with possibly expanding Lorca’s current space.
“Of course I’d also love to see more Lorcas in more cities and towns. But that’s very far in the future,” Ms. Dam said.
– Priscilla Valdez, Co-Arts and Entertainment Editor