Each month Belle City Magazine profiles a local restaurant to give readers the flavor of the place, its standout dishes and background about the owner.
Lori Lester. Store managed by her son, Luke Jackson
2012 in Racine (2007 in Waukesha, 2012 in Brookfield and 2017 in Mayfair Mall)
Location and Contact Info:
245 Main St., Racine, WI 53404
(262) 672-4755, divinogelatocafe.com, facebook.com/DivinoRacine/
Hours of Operation:
7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Thursday
7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday
8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday
Gelato, full coffee service and sandwiches
$4.15 Small (two flavors); $4.68 Regular (two flavors); $5.24 Medium (three flavors); $6.30 Large (three flavors)
Relaxing cafe with historic vibe
Most Popular Items:
Gelato, coffee and bubble tea
Housemade French macaroons
About the Owner:
When Luke Jackson was a kid living in Waukesha he often begged his mother for money to go to the gelato shop. He never dreamed that his parents would buy the shop a few years later and he would be managing two of the family’s four locations.
His mom Lori and step-dad Joe Lester bought the Waukesha business in 2007 from the original owner. However, soon after buying the business Lester had to formulate a new base and flavor assortment for the gelato after the supplier that had provided a premix went out of business. She met the challenge and created the new base, as well as 250 flavors.
Now the family sells the Divino Gelato brand, housemade with fresh ingredients imported from Italy, in their stores in Waukesha, Racine and Brookfield (both established in 2012) and Mayfair Mall (opened in 2017), as well as restaurants and other wholesale customers. All the stores also sell Lester’s secret recipe for French macaroons.
While Lori still oversees the business, Luke and his siblings work together to manage the day-to-day operations. Luke manages the Racine store and serves as gelato chef there, as well as co-managing the Mayfair Mall location.
Luke, an aspiring musician, started an open mic on Friday evenings last year which has become a popular place for local musicians, poets, comedians and dancers to showcase their talents in an informal setting.