Lola Crawford, the store's namesake and inspiration

Lola Crawford, the store's namesake and inspiration

LOLA's Story

Linda Orsuto, proprietor of LOLA'S Menagerie, has always had a keen eye for antiques. Opening a store like LOLA'S has been a long-time dream of hers. When the opportunity presented itself, how did the name LOLA'S Menagerie come about?

Lola Crawford was the mother of one of Linda's dear friends. Linda always adored Lola and shared a special connection with her. Lola was an old soul, who found a kindred spirit in Linda. Lola and her son lived on Broadway in Westville, NJ where Lola worked at the Borough Hall. Since Lola's son owns the building of the shop's first location on Broadway in Westville, what better way to honor Lola's memory than by opening the store in her name?

The name actually serves a dual purpose, though — the second being an acronym for Linda Orsuto Loves Antiques. This is the mantra under which the store operates, along with "New, Then and Again," the store's slogan. 

In many of her endeavors, Linda Orsuto maintains longstanding partnerships and friendships with some of the people closest to her. Linda has been friends with the original co-proprietor, Cheryl Beatrice-Smola, since 1981. Cheryl is an equal partner in the first ventures of LOLA'S Menagerie, and she oversees operations and the LOLA'S co-op. 

Although the Westville, NJ and Ocean City, NJ locations have been closed, Linda is excited about the growth of LOLA's Rancocas and the changes happening there. Her store is having an impact on the community and she can't wait for you to stop in and witness that for yourself. 

Insider tip: Linda usually offers homemade chocolates to first time guests, and they are delicious!