For Diane Olexa, owner of Olexa’s Café, Cakes and Catering in Mountain Brook Village, it all began when she was young helping her mother make wedding cakes.
“I was always her little helper,” she says.
Then, the Gainesville, Fla. native came to Birmingham to attend Southeastern Bible College where her dreams were further pursued when the college allowed her to use their kitchen to start her cake business.
She made wedding cakes for brides, and, with the help of her mother, expanded that business into full event catering.
“I started doing bridal shows, and it just went from a little girl baking cakes at the Bible College to a full blown business,” Olexa said.
In 2004 she expanded to open Olexa’s Café, Cakes and Catering in Mountain Brook Village, which has won multiple awards for its delicious lunch menu and desserts.
Olexa’s award-winning cakes are well known throughout the area, especially her warm butter crème cake that is served by the slice and a favorite among all who try it.
“People come for the cake, but they stay for lunch,” Olexa said.
The lunch menu, created by the Olexa’s mother, features a wide variety of salads, sandwiches, quiche, soups, crepes and, of course, desserts. A favored lunch item is the tomato basil bisque that is served daily.
The menu perfectly compliments the European café atmosphere inside, and truly offers satisfying and delicious choices for whatever mood you’re in.
The California Cobb Salad is large and delicious. Fresh roasted chicken, crispy lettuce, bleu cheese crumbles, bacon bits, diced red onion, egg and tomatoes are all piled high, while a trio of ranch, house made balsamic vinaigrette and guacamole are all served on the side as dressings.
Olexa says this menu item was a must-have for her California native mother.
The “Ultimate” Grilled Cheese puts a fresh spin on a classic sandwich with sharp cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses, pesto and a special sauce on golden grilled sourdough bread. It is served with the tomato basil bisque and chips or a salad. This item is sure to please.
The menu also offers a quiche of the day and savory crepes along with a large selection of salads, Panini’s and appetizers.
If dining at Olexa’s, dessert is a must and there are many options to choose from. The warm butter crème cake is always a delicious choice, but the other desserts, including the warm white chocolate chunk bread pudding and caramel apple pie, are equally pleasing alternatives.
Olexa creates cakes that are perfect for any occasion, including birthdays and bridal events. Her catering business includes corporate and social events, as well as weddings.
She says the café is a popular and pleasant environment for bridal showers, rehearsal dinners and evening events.