The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

Lola’s 7 Up Mexican Market & Deli: The Heart Of Carlsbad

Photo Taken From
Lola’s 7 Up Mexican Market and Deli menu hangs from the ceiling with many of the delicious meals Lola’s has to offer customers. Behind the sign is Lola’s small kitchen, where the staff works hard to prepare the food.

Since 1943, Lola’s 7-Up Mexican Market and Deli has been on the corner of Roosevelt Street in Carlsbad’s Barrio. Over the years, this authentic family-owned business has served up delicious Mexican food made from quality ingredients, establishing itself as a landmark in the community. With many locals stopping by daily and tourists visiting by word-of-mouth, Lola’s has become a successful business in the city of Carlsbad

Lola’s 7 Up Mexican Market and Deli sign is plastered to the side of the restaurant building. Lola’s is a family-owned business that officially started selling authentic Mexican food on March 17, 1986.

However, Lola’s wasn’t always this way. In fact, the restaurant part of Lola’s only opened up 35 years ago on March 17, 1986–St. Patrick’s Day. Before then, Lola’s was solely the local supermarket.

The grandson of Lola’s founder, Henry Trejo, now manages the restaurant. Trejo explains why Lola’s officially decided to turn into a “taco shop” as well as a supermarket. While change is always happening in business, Trejo explained the old Lola’s as being just the “little neighborhood store.” 

“Everything here was groceries and we had one table and then we got another table and then after almost 35 years it just picked up a little,” Trejo stated. 

Lola’s first started to transition into a restaurant in the early 90s when some teenagers from Carlsbad High School went to Lola’s for lunch. The kids continued to go to Lola’s for a couple of months and then eventually brought a friend. Slowly over the years, the business kept building up, attracting more and more customers every day. 

The times forced Lola’s to change their business model. As the city of Carlsbad grew and big chain grocery stores came in, this small market would need to provide a different commodity. 

Deedee Rowlett, the granddaughter of Lola, remembers what it was like before Lola’s became a restaurant. 

“My grandfather also had a little butcher shop and I remember the cow hanging and him cutting up meat. It was definitely different; [Carlsbad] was a small neighborhood [at that time]. The [commerce] was family-oriented, we didn’t have the development or the tourists or even the kids so much, unless they grew up in the Barrio,” Rowlett stated. 

Marlita Parravano is one of Lola’s loyal customers, going to Lola’s for 25 years. 

“I first heard of Lola’s from other kids in the neighborhood who would go there to eat lunch…and so I decided to try it…immediately I loved it, it was a family restaurant and their food was delicious and still is,”  Parravano stated.

One of Lola’s owners, Ofie Escobedo greets one of the customer’s children, Noah Perez, inside of Lola’s Deli. Many of Lola’s customers have become friends with the staff and have continued to go to Lola’s for years.

Parravano isn’t the only customer who has been going to Lola’s for generations. Lots of families have become known in the Lola’s community throughout the years. Many of the young kids that grew up eating at Lola’s now have their own families with whom they share the tradition.

“It’s becoming generational, you see parents bring their kids and then they come in through high school, and the next thing you know they’re showing up with their own family; it’s a little mind-blowing,” Rowlett stated.

However, the times once again forced Lola’s to adapt to new ways when the COVID-19 pandemic appeared. Lola’s was forced to clear everyone out of their building due to their small seating arrangement.

“We had to kick everybody out [when the pandemic came]. Now everyone has to order at the door,” Trejo said.  

Rowlett saw Lola’s embrace their already popular takeout option in order to adapt to the strains of COVID-19.

“The pandemic was scary at first with everybody shutting down; our saving grace was we already had a big to-go [business] so we were able to just continue the to-go. Had we been more of a sit-down type restaurant, I think it would have affected us differently,” Rowlett said. 

Lola’s COVID-19 safe menu is outside of the restaurant’s building. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Lola’s has had to serve their customers outside only, unable to allow them within the small spaced building.

However, this large takeout business didn’t save Lola’s from everything the pandemic brought upon them. They were still forced to switch hours around and reduce their staff due to the dramatic impact on business. To keep positivity through these rough times, Lola’s unites the community by presenting live Mexican music every Saturday.

Thankfully, Lola’s loving customers have helped them to continue business throughout the pandemic.

“It’s been hard this last year but we have had so much support [from] all our customers. They just keep us going and we are blessed with that; we are really thankful,” Rowlett said.

This support from loyal customers has been said to be the greatest part of the job. To be able to continue on this generational business would be a blessing to Lola’s staff and family members. However, the future for Lola’s 7 Up Mexican Market and Deli remains uncertain.   

The family-owned business has gone through ups and downs while still remaining a major touchstone of the Carlsbad community, being able to remain a family-owned local business. 

“We just want to keep it like a family, that is the way it is, we are family and we try to be friendly, all families go through things, things happen and we just roll with the punches,” Trejo stated.

Rowlett concluded, “There’s [been] a lot of blood, sweat, and tears put into Lola’s and the community, [the future] is going to be up to the fourth generation.” 

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

The Sage intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Sage does not allow anonymous comments, and The Sage requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Sage Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *