On Saturday, December 14, it was announced that Rosa Porto, a legend in the baking world, had passed away at the age of 89. The founder of Porto’s Bakery & Café grew her business to be one of the premier names in the industry after starting from her home kitchen selling cakes and pastries to friends and family.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Porto’s Bakery founder and Porto family matriarch, Rosa Porto. She passed peacefully yesterday at the age of 89 surrounded by her loving husband and family,” Porto’s announced on social media late last week.
Founded in 1960 by Rosa and her husband Raul Porto Sr., Porto’s now operates locations in Burbank, Glendale, Downey, Buena Park, and West Covina. Porto’s Bakery traces its roots to Manzanillo, Cuba, where Rosa worked as a home economics teacher before she began to sell cakes from the family home. The original recipe followed her 2,599 miles to Los Angeles in 1971. Rosa had a well-established business once the family left for Southern California, where Rosa resumed her home bakery business. Within a few years, she couldn’t do it out of the house anymore.
The family would open a small bakery in Echo Park, California in 1976. The bakery became known for its Cuban cakes and pastries, meat pies, potato balls, empanadas, and guava-and-cheese strudels. That success eventually allowed them to move to a larger location in Glendale in 1982.
Thanks to Rosa Porto’s hard work and dedication, Porto’s Bakery & Café has become an industry leader, and that legacy continues to this day. She is survived by her husband and her three children, Beatriz, Raul Jr., and Margarita, who now run the business.