At Porto’s Bakery & Café’s newest Northridge store, the bakery cases are still bountiful, and yet these is a “smarter” mix of item variety.

“We went from 14 croissant and Danish varieties and found the most important ones. It’s little by little in a smarter way,” explains Adrian Porto, who manages Porto’s newest location in Northridge, California, and is the son of co-owner Raul Porto. “We have 300 items in the showcase.”

One-of-a-kind specials are the true calling card at this milestone bakery. One of the nation’s largest retail bakeries with six locations in Southern California, Porto’s Bakery & Café features a greatly popular breakfast item known as Cuban-style French toast known as torrejas. The popular bakery makes torrejas starting with Porto’s signature croissant dough topped with guava sauce and accompanied by whipped cream cheese and tropical fruit salad.

“It’s all about the flavor,” says Adrian Porto.

He points out that they are striving to be more thoughtful about their item count to match customers’ needs. The initiative features more seasonal specials, or as Adrian puts it, “finding new ways to do things differently – and better. We are so fortunate to have a lot of repeat business. We are willing to branch out for something different.”

One influential consumer trend, according to Adrian Porto, is that consumers want to try something new in store that they first saw online.

“We offer a lot of ‘gram worthy products,” he points out. “Social media is now for inspiration.

“Now the bar is here,” Porto says, lifting his right arm above his head. “Everyone is so aware. That wow factor has to be there – always!”

In addition, a higher percentage of customers now want savory choices to enjoy at Porto’s Bakery & Café. Shoppers quickly move through the long lines because of Porto’s time-tested methods of getting customer orders fulfilled in rapid time.

Breakfast wraps, omelets, and torrejas have consumers lining up in rapid fashion, every day of the week.

A widely popular (limited-time-offer) sandwich is the jamon and arugula pesto sandwich on a French roll. The sandwich features thinly sliced imported Prosciutto Cotto, fresh baby arugula, piquillo pepper crema, lemon arugula pesto served on a French roll and pressed to order.

“A higher percentage of customers want to eat savory here,” Adrian Porto says. “You can be out of here quickly with a great $12 plate. Also, I think breakfast out right now is incredible. The majority of our volume at this store is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.”

All in the family

Rosa Porto started the family bakery business in 1976. Rosa Porto passed away in 2019, but her three children and grandchildren work alongside a talented and dedicated team to carry on Porto’s tradition and Rosa's legacy.

“My Mom said, ‘For every challenge, we learn something’,” says Beatriz Porto. “My mom, Rosa Porto, and dad, Raul Porto, started the small bakery on Sunset and Silver Lake. We kids did what we had to do to support the business, whether it was dishes or learning how to bake. My sister and I became cake decorators just by watching my mother! So becoming this big name wasn't deliberate. I just started helping out my family because that's what you had to do. All of us would come out of school and help every day.”

The business is now owned and managed by the second generation of the family: sisters Beatriz and Margarita and their brother Raul Porto Jr.

Porto's has grown into six current locations in Glendale, Burbank, Downey, Buena Park, West Covina, and Northridge, with a seventh location in the Downtown Disney® District on the way.

“We have got a young hungry team. We are attracting top pastry chefs to work here. We have a lot of people who have tenure in their specific industry,” Adrian Porto explains.

Rosa’s Cuban cakes and pastries are now accompanied by Porto’s signature Cheese Rolls®, Refugiados® (guava and cheese strudels), and the bakery’s famous Potato Ball®, among many other international sweets and savory items.

Porto’s took the number-one spot on “Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the US.” In 2021 Porto's Bakery was voted Best Bakery in the Southland, according to the Los Angeles Times.

And just as Porto's Bakery started in Rosa's home back in Cuba, with Porto's Bake at Home, the company now ships most popular pastries and cakes nationwide directly to consumers nationwide. Rosa’s recipes and high standards continue to be carried on by her family, reflecting the family’s mission of baking memories for generations to come.

“Sales at our Porto’s Bake at Home business has gone through the roof,” Beatriz Porto says proudly. “During the pandemic, it was a lifesaver. We turned the bakery from dine-in to takeout. We have learned so much. We are truly blessed.”

Porto’s Bakery & Cafe has announced that its next location will soon make its debut at Disneyland in the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim.

“Porto's Bakery & Cafe, a Southern Californian favorite, will also open in the Downtown Disney District! The bakery is known for its sweet pastries and treats, savory Cuban food, and incredible desserts,” Disney Parks tweeted during the D23 Expo, an event held in Anaheim that celebrates all things Disney.

The spot — as announced by Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro during the 2022 D23 Expo — will bring its signature sweet pastries and savory Cuban food to Downtown Disney. Porto’s will be part of the expansion of the Downtown Disney District, which announced it will share more information about Porto’s Bakery & Café – including an opening timeframe — as soon as it is available.

“People are excited about it. It is a good move because everybody – the whole world – passes through Downtown Disney,” says Beatriz Porto. “Disney wants the popular brands of Southern California into the facility. It is very smart.”