“You see, this is why I don’t have a boyfriend,” laughs Passion Café creator Lana Love with a wry smile, as she ushers us into her kitchen to show off potentially the island’s biggest personal stash of supplements, vitamins, minerals, powders and health related goodies, but little evidence of ‘real’ food. Upon further inspection of the hundreds of magnets adorning her fridge and reading the mugs lining the shelves, it quickly becomes clear that the brains, beauty and boss behind the island’s most successful café and healthy eating concept is a self-made, savvy, switched-on chica whose tongue is firmly in cheek.
Lana’s two-bedroom Playa d’en Bossa apartment is humble in size compared to many other Ibiza properties, but that fact is outweighed by the spectacular, panoramic million dollar Mediterranean views from her wraparound terrace. “Views are very important for me,” she says. “I like to have open horizons. In summer, when the doors are all open, there is fresh air all around and you only have time to step out onto the terrace for just one minute, it’s like ‘ahhhhhh’ – a huge cosmic download. I don’t know how I’m ever going to leave it – my next home will have to have a pretty impressive view.”
Wait a minute – leaving? “Well, I’ll have to leave it one day. It’s not actually my apartment,” Lana explains. “The reality is, at this point in my life, I am still renting. I put all the money I earn back into my business, and I’ve been supporting my mother in Croatia since I was 19. One day I hope to own my own home but at the moment I’m very far from that! You can give me shack, as long as the view is magnificent!” Lana prefers to view her Passion empire as her ‘homes’. “They are really like my living rooms, where I socialise and entertain.”
It may not be her own home, but the apartment has all the hallmarks of a Lana Love creation – beautiful art and photography lining the walls, positive affirmations everywhere you look, stacks of varied books and magazines (ranging from self-help and cookery to classics and modern bestsellers), and of course, her constant companion, 8-year old French bulldog Jack, who was born deaf, but lives a wonderful life as the undisputed king of all Passions. With the beautiful beach on her doorstep, views to Formentera and all the mod cons you need installed within, what’s not to, well, Love?
“It was a completely blank canvas when I moved in. There was nothing – not even light fittings,” says Lana. “It’s hard, when you’re buying things and it’s not your home, so that’s why I chose a simple aesthetic that I’ll be able to incorporate into my future home.” When asked to describe her style, she says it’s completely unplanned. “I don’t buy things to match other things in my apartment but I do like the homely feeling. I think as long as you, personally, like looking at the things you have, it shouldn’t matter if they match or not.” It’s true what they say – beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
The absence of a television in the living room is explained by Lana’s aversion to commercial programs. “I haven’t watched TV since I moved to Ibiza in 2002. I have a TV in the bedroom, where I watch my David Wolfe videos, programs like Food Matters, educational shows and feel good movies, but when I see the television in hotel rooms on my travels, I’m like ‘no way!’ I’m happier without it.”
Simultaneously humbled and proud of her own massive achievements in life, Lana – who admits she is often very hard on herself – has genuine gratitude when her work is praised in the press or by her peers. “I really, really appreciate the honour of being asked to be in a glossy magazine, and I put these on my walls as a reminder to be grateful everyday that people have an interest in my life and my work. It’s not bad to give yourself a pat on the back every now and then – we should all do it more often.”
Opposite her achievements are a series of stunning photographs from her early days as a model. “Yes, it’s all about me,” Lana laughs. “No, seriously – I love photography, and I see these images as art, a collaboration between myself and the photographer. Of course they are going on the wall!”
With four restaurants under her watchful eye, it’s inevitable that Lana often brings work home with her, choosing the dining table with a view as her preferred office space. “It’s not always as Feng Shui as today! I write my menus here, do my accounts, run my social media accounts – all the things I can’t do while I am busy all day in Passion. At the moment, I’m a one-woman show. I think it’s time to get an office, and a PA.”
Quite surprisingly, the queen of cafes admits she hasn’t used her own stove or oven in about two years. “Since I opened Passion Marina, I haven’t cooked,” she says, slightly sheepishly. “Of course, I do my raw food, I make myself smoothies and juices, but I’m just not that crazy about cooking. People think I am a real gourmand, but give me an avocado and tomato salad and I’m happiest.”
“My place may be small, but for where I am in my life right now, it’s perfect,” says the successful entrepreneur, following up with a quote from one of her omnipresent affirmation cards. “This moment is as it should be…”