HomeCommunity NewsPorto’s Bakery Founder Remembered Fondly

Porto’s Bakery Founder Remembered Fondly

Raul and Rosa Porto immigrated to the United States from Cuba and started Porto’s Bakery & Cafe. — Photo courtesy Porto family

Raul Porto Sr., the founder of the popular family-owned Southern California institution Porto’s Bakery & Cafe, died on May 22 at age 92, “surrounded by his loving family,” according to a post on the bakery’s Instagram account.
“Raul Sr. was an extraordinary man who, alongside his wife Rosa, founded Porto’s Bakery from their home kitchen, selling cakes and pastries to friends and family,” the post read. “Through their hard work, humility, and dedication, they transformed a small family endeavor into a cherished community treasure.”
Porto’s wife, Rosa, died in 2019 at the age of 89. The couple retired several years ago to dedicate their lives to their family.
Following Raul Sr.’s death, the Porto family has been met with an “overwhelming outpouring of love and support” from the community, the family said in a statement to the News-Press.
“All the kind words and shared memories have been a great comfort to us during this time of loss,” the statement said. “As we navigate through our grief, we are deeply touched by the affection we’ve received. Your tributes show the impact he had on so many lives, and for that, we are forever grateful.”
Raul Sr. and Rosa immigrated to the United States in the 1960s to escape Castro-era Cuba.
“When Rosa and her family arrived in California, they had only the clothes on their backs, Raul Sr.’s strong work ethic, Rosa’s exceptional baking skills and a dream for a better life,” a Porto’s bakery spokesperson said.
What began as selling cakes to friends and family from their new California home led to the opening of the family’s first official storefront on Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park in 1976.
Now, Porto’s has locations in Glendale, Burbank, Northridge, Buena Park, Downey and West Covina, with a seventh location planned for the Downtown Disney District.
Aiming to “reflect the multicultural heritage of the Porto family and the communities in which we serve,” Porto’s menu features classic Cuban pastries such as pastelitos and empanadas as well as bakery favorites like croissants and cakes.
With family woven into the fabric of Porto’s Bakery, its legacy is sure to live on.
“In his later years, Raul Sr. found immense joy in spending time with his grandchildren and watching the next generation grow. His love for his family was unwavering, and his legacy will live on in the hearts of those he inspired,” a Porto’s Instagram post said.

Photo courtesy Brian Feinzimer Raul Porto Sr. took pride in the family aspect of Porto’s. He is shown here with his grandson Adrian Porto.
Raul Sr. enjoyed spending time with his granddaughter, Adrianna.
Porto’s Bakery and Cafe, which currently has six locations throughout Southern California, is a family business through and through.

— City News Service contributed to this article.

First published in the June 1 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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