Video by Olivia Santini and Stephanie Longmire
The moment you walk into a Porto’s Bakery… it’s a celebration for the senses. This chain of bakeries boast of being some of the most popular in Southern California, serving real Cuban food with an international flair, prepared by the Porto family for almost four decades. When Betty Porto’s father was sent to a labor camp by the Fidel Castro Regime, her mother, Rosa, was left with three kids and no income.
“So being the lady that she was– she had to reinvent herself. She started making cakes,” recalls Betty.
Ten years later, the family left Cuba for California and Rosa kept baking.
“People were coming to our house to order cakes from her — for five years. So when she decided to open in 1976 — it was because she ran out of room,” says Betty about what she calls the longest internship in the world.
The Porto’s family has grown steadily into a multi-million dollar business. From the first tiny shop to three bustling locations that serve up to 50,000 customers a week, now they have nearly 800 employees.
“This company makes you feel like you’re part of something bigger. You’re not just an employee– you’re part of their family,” says Julissa Posada, one of Porto’s employees.
Part of that feeling is pride, knowing everything is made to Rosa’s strict specifications and with lots of love.