Here is a History:
It all began in 1960 back in Mazanillo, Cuba, when Rosa Porto, always a talented cake maker, with a passion for baking, entrenched herself in perfecting her recipes and began selling her delicious cakes to friends and neighbors not realizing that she was also building herself a loyal customer base. When she and Raul Porto Sr., along with children Betty, Raul Jr., and Margarita finally emigrated from Cuba to California, they had not much more than the clothes on their backs, Raul Sr.’s strong work ethic, Rosa’s exceptional baking skills, and a dream for a better life. These were hard times, but the family was now in a country filled with limitless opportunities and their dream for a better future became more real as the years passed.
Rosa continued on with her cake business and when their home could no longer accommodate the increased demand, opened a little 300-square foot bakery on Sunset Blvd, in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles. In the 1980’s, after graduating college, Betty, Raul Jr. and Margarita stayed on with the business each taking on more specific roles. Raul Jr. took on managing the finances and alongside his long-time co-worker and friend, Tony Salazar, focused on new product development, production improvements, and quality control. Margarita joined her mom in the cake decorating area, and Betty managed alongside her father assisting customers.
Rosa’s Cuban cakes were soon joined by French mousses, Italian sweets, and international savories. As customers flocked to the bakery demanding countless quantities of Cheese Rolls(TM), Refugiados(TM) - guava and cheese strudels, and the infamous Potato Ball(TM), space became critical. A move was made to a 2,000-square foot facility in Glendale and six years later to one double in size.
The years proved Rosa’s formula successful. With the entire family’s effort, expansion to a 20,000-square foot facility took place in the 1990’s. Later further expansion included a Café with a menu showcasing signature Cuban sandwiches and lunch favorites. Rosa used her talents into a means of supporting her family and the business she began has turned into one of the most unique family-owned businesses in Southern California. Rosa Porto is now retired, but her recipes and her high standards remain, including her motto, “quality is the number one ingredient in everything we do”. Porto’s Bakery & Café now serves thousands of customers and employs hundreds of team members in Southern California, with a store in Glendale, a store in Burbank, and a third in the city of Downey.
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