Downey Porto’s: Baking Breads and Warming Hearts

Christian Vega, Illustrator

Whether you are a bakery connoisseur or a Downey city resident, Porto’s Bakery is sure to slip into your radar. Since 2010, Porto’s Bakery and Café in Downey has served a variety of Cuban desserts, savory goods, and cakes. For decades, the Porto’s family has devoted their business to serving the community around them; including our Downey High School students and families.


Rosa Porto and her family have always focused on family and community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Porto’s Bakery made various donations to frontline healthcare workers at local hospitals, assisted living centers, and vaccination sites, amounting to over 40 groups. In 2022, Beatriz Porto, co-owner of Porto’s and daughter of Rosa Porto, was honored in the LA county Women of the Year Awards for the company’s philanthropy and legacy.


Porto’s Bakery and Café is a staple to Downey; many residents are aware of their potato balls and long lines. In 2021, the NYT voted Porto’s as the best bakery in the Southland, Unbeknownst to many customers, Porto’s mission statement, “We strive to create an enjoyable and fulfilling experience for our guests and our team,” focuses on the importance of their staff – not just their guests.


On November 9, 2022, Downey Porto’s held a job orientation for Downey High School Students. Along with the history of the Porto family, the orientation promoted the community and experience of working in such a tight-knit work environment. So what makes Downey Porto’s workplace such a great community? Ivette Lopez, 12, works at Downey Porto’s Bakery as of April 2022. Lopez claims, “It’s a job, but it doesn’t rush you. You don’t get stressed out. You have people who are going to help you all the time.” Lopez further explains, “You are working, but you do get along with people.”


As the holiday season approaches, so does the demand for more warm treats and workers. Giuliana Marquez, 11, another Downey High employee, discusses the importance of Porto’s to Downey and her family. “Ever since I was little, for parties you would always hear ‘Let’s go to Porto’s’ or ‘Porto’s has good cakes’, so I thought it’d be nice to work somewhere you’re familiar with,” Marquez claims. When asked whether this sentiment was Downey or Porto’s centered, Marquez replies, “Maybe a little bit of both. Mexican and Cuban foods are related, which might explain its popularity. But yeah, Downey is known for their Porto’s.”


Porto’s Bakery and Café in Downey has had an impact on the customers, workers, and the Downey Community as well. With Rosa Porto’s passing in 2019, the Downey community continues to honor her family, culture, and desserts through its bakery.

If you would like to look into Porto’s story, nominate an organization for charity, or even order a famous Refugiado, visit the Porto’s Bakery and Café website.