Hispanic entrepreneurs are hard at work, turning dreams into reality in every corner of the country. A new Geoscape report reveals that Hispanic immigrants are more likely to be entrepreneurs than the average member of the U.S. population overall.
Based on Geoscape projections in its 2016 annual report, the number of Hispanic-owned businesses grew to more than 4.2 million, representing an impressive growth rate of 27.5 percent since 2012. The figure is more than double the growth rate for all U.S. firms.
Take a look at a few of the Hispanic bakeries making a tremendous impact in the baking industry.
Southern California-based Porto’s Bakery traces its roots to Manzanillo, Cuba, where Raul Porto’s mother, Rosa, had worked as a home economics teacher before she began to sell cakes from the family home. Today, the company has evolved into one of the nation’s most successful family-owned retail bakeries, including four popular retail stores — three in Los Angeles County, where nearly 10 percent of the nation’s Hispanic population of 57 million live. Porto’s has an estimated 6 million customers every year, making it extremely important to keep the menu fresh and exciting. Innovation defines every move they make.
“We are Cuban, but we are also a little bit of everything,” says Tony Salazar, vice president of production and oversees quality control and innovation. “We want to offer the flavors of the tropics. But we also want to take what is happening in Europe and put our twist on it with something that our customers will understand. We have to stay true to our customers, but give them options for what is new and exciting.”
It’s often said that diversity is the spice of life, and if that’s the case, then Pastelería Azteca is all sorts of spicy. Bakeries like Azteca are often run by one entire family. Azteca is different though — while owner Alfredo Sanchez does number some family among his employees, including his daughter, his team boasts a number of Latino nationalities, and it’s this variety of different people with different backgrounds working together that truly makes Azteca shine.
Everything in the shop, whether from the bakery or the ice cream parlor, is made from scratch using BakeMark products, and is inspired by various employees’ favorite flavors from home. They have over 60 different flavors of ice cream alone, many of which are unique to their various countries of origin. Fruits and flavors from Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico are served alongside pastries inspired by the Danish and French.
El Pueblo Bakery started the business with a strong determination to produce authentic Hispanic cakes, breads and pastries that local customers would enjoy for the premium quality and the consistent value. The bakeries are open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Their bakers work around the clock.
Tres leches cakes are among the bakery’s signature products, and these cakes are available in regular, chocolate, piña colada, strawberry or mocha flavors. Other popular products sold at the bakery include flan, chocoflan, and gelatin desserts topped with fresh fruits like strawberries, kiwifruit and peaches. “We started adding products as we got more ideas,” Concepcion Flores says. For example, they recently started offering assorted flavors of gelatin cups in convenient packaging for customers on the go.
If one were to choose a few words to describe central Florida’s popular Puerto Rican retailer Melao Bakery, you might immediately choose to call this place sweet and uplifting. In every corner of the bakery, there are signs on the wall such as “never underestimate the power of God” or “exercise daily – walk with the Lord.” They take spirituality seriously here, in a polite gesture to remind customers they are special and all part of the community.
The bakery’s mission is to celebrate Hispanic heritage through great food and to have a positive influence on all those who visit Melao Bakery. It specializes in breads, donuts, and pastries, with the top-selling pastry being the quesito, which they fill with cream cheese. Other popular products include sugar donuts, pan sobao (similar to Cuban bread but with a softer texture because a touch of oil is added to the dough), and Mallorca (a soft and sweet bread that is popular to eat as a snack or with sandwiches).