Iconic Southern California retailer Porto’s Bakery & Café recently joined the growing movement of independent retail bakeries that are leveraging the promotional power of pop-up shops.

Through March 8, 2018, Porto’s will operate a pop-up café in the Century City neighborhood of Los Angeles. Porto’s retail bakery cafes are located in Buena Park, Burbank, Glendale, and Downey.

The new café, known as Doña Dulce, offers Porto’s classic Cuban-inspired sweets, such as cream cheese rolls and raspberry besitos. The cafe also serves Cuban beverages such as café cubanos, cortaditos, and café con leche from F. Gaviña & Sons, a roaster in Los Angeles.

Doña Dulce is located at Annenberg Space for Photography, in conjunction with a new exhibit there that highlights Cuban photography. Titled Cuba Is, the photography is an intimate portrait of the country’s humanity.

Earlier this year, Porto’s opened its fourth retail store and first in Orange County, California. As customers enter this 25,000-square-foot bakery in Buena Park, they are immersed in a multitude of sensory experiences: bountiful bread racks, a fresh-brew coffee and juice bar, a pastry station where artisans finish off individual pastries in full view, and a huge glass window to watch cake decorators working their magic on marble-top, stainless-steel tables illuminated by copper light fixtures above.

4 Steps to Success

For those retailers that have not done one, here’s how a pop-up shop works:

1. Decide on the time and venue. Pop-ups are particularly effective from October through December because these months are high traffic times for shoppers.

2. Make a detailed list of all the products you plan to sell at your pop-up and figure out your packaging. Make sure it is attractive and convenient, and that packaging features your brand.

3. Be prepared with set-up materials ahead of time, and have a price list of your products with sales tax included. Make sure to have a mobile device to process credit card transactions.

4. At least a month in advance of each event, promote the upcoming date and venue of your pop-up on social media channels, like Facebook and Instagram.