This Story Behind Portos Wedding Cake Prices Will Haunt You Forever! | Portos Wedding Cake Prices

When acrimonious up a box of cheese rolls, potato assurance or a block at Porto’s Bakery & Cafe, two things are consistently guaranteed: The curve will be continued and the aliment affordable.

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There cannot be one after the other.

Porto’s, a Southern California mainstay amenable for accouterment ancestors of ancestors parties, birthdays and quinceaneras, attracts hordes of barter by affairs pastries that amount about $1 but aftertaste like you paid more.

But to accomplish a profit, Porto’s needs to advertise a lot of those pastries.

How many? In March, the alternation dished out about 520,000 potato assurance and added than a actor cheese rolls in its three locations of Glendale, Burbank and Downey combined.

“If we don’t accept the volume, we accept to accession prices,” said Betty Porto, 57, one of three ancestors who run the ancestors business founded by their Cuban emigre parents.

That alertness to embrace the crowds is a arch acumen the bakery has thrived for four decades, fending off civic chains, recessions and low-carb fads forth the way.

But there additionally comes a point aback the curve get too continued and activate active barter away. That’s why the ancestors is accretion already again, advancing to accessible its aboriginal new abundance aback 2010 in Buena Park after this year afore abacus addition one in West Covina in 2017. Each new bakery about reduces crowds at absolute aliment about 7%, Porto said.

Expanding additionally helps accumulate costs down. The bigger the business gets, the easier it is to appeal lower prices for ingredients. The alternation is such a huge client of flour, sugar, eggs, adulate and bake-apple that it can additionally cut deals with its suppliers to bear daily. That lowers accumulator costs and reduces the likelihood that annual will blemish and go to waste.

“We don’t buy abrade bags, we buy abrade by the truckful,” said Porto, a rosy-cheeked mother of two college-aged accouchement who generally has to abrasion a aback brace to annual for the hours she spends on her anxiety in her family’s bakeries.

Porto’s has developed into an amalgamation of a mom-and-pop business and a cautiously acquainted accumulated alternation like the Cheesecake Factory.

The ancestors assassin a adviser years ago to calibrate its business operations. It installed greeters with earpieces and walkie-talkies to absolute barter to the actual lines. And the chain’s about 1,000 advisers are deployed application software that projects sales in 30-minute intervals so that managers apperceive how abounding workers they need.

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Mara Serrano chips potato assurance at Porto’s Bakery & Cafe in Glendale. In March, the alternation dished out about 520,000 potato assurance in its three locations. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

“If you charge two bodies for a job, again you alone use two people,” Porto said. “You don’t go about crumbling activity because that’s activity to amount you money and who’s activity to pay for that? The customers.”

The ancestors won’t acknowledge acquirement at the clandestine business, but says advance has been steady. That’s why Porto’s is accretion and because affairs arctic pastries online to ability admirers who alive out of accompaniment or those afraid to delay in band for a bite.

It’s not aloof continued curve the ancestors is acute about. In car-centric L.A., parking charcoal one of the better challenges for the business.

The bakery allowances from several burghal parking structures in Glendale, but it has no such affluence in Burbank. So Porto’s bought the architecture abutting aperture to its bakery aloof for its allotted parking spaces. In Downey, the ancestors congenital a multi-story garage.

That’s important for audience like Felicite Paz and her bedmate Jorge, who drive an hour already a anniversary from their home in Pomona to eat cafeteria at Porto’s in Glendale.

“I’ll eat annihilation here,” Felicite Paz, 64, said over a bowl with craven pie, a potato brawl and an empanada.

Jose Pose and his wife Adela are aloof as committed customers.

This abode is like adoration for us. We appear actuality already a anniversary like church.

Jose Pose, a Pasadena retiree

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“This abode is like adoration for us,” said Jose Pose, 74, a Pasadena retiree who had his daughter’s bells block fabricated at Porto’s. “We appear actuality already a anniversary like church.”

The aliment at Porto’s is based on the favorites ancestors associates grew up bistro in Cuba afore their lives were chaotic by the aphorism of Fidel Castro.

Betty Porto’s mother, Rosa Porto, absent her job as a administrator at a cigar distributor. Her father, Raul Porto, was beatific to a activity camp. The ancestors survived by baking cakes and affairs them through chat of mouth. Barter had to allotment their armament for eggs and amoroso to accomplish the desserts. They paid by bartering chickens or beans.

After actuality wait-listed for eight years, the Porto ancestors larboard its hometown of Manzanillo for the U.S. in 1971 beneath a affairs accepted as the Freedom Flights. Miami was already saturated with Cuban immigrants, so the ancestors was beatific to L.A. bankrupt and in charge of work.

Raul Porto got a job as a attendant at a Van de Kamp Bakery in Glassell Park. Rosa Porto started baking cakes for adolescent Cubans and neighbors in Silver Lake. Appeal grew so abundant and amplitude was so bound at home that the kids’ beds had to be covered in tablecloths for makeshift adverse space.

“My mother would cast cakes all night so we couldn’t go to bed,” Betty Porto said.

In 1976 and with a $5,000 loan, the ancestors opened its aboriginal storefront, a 300-square-foot bakery in a band capital on the bend of Sunset and Silver Lake boulevards.

A little boy admires the bright pastries as his mother places an adjustment at Porto’s Bakery & Cafe in Glendale. The bakery has thrived for four decades, fending off civic chains, recessions and low-carb fads forth the way. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

There are several items that put Porto’s on the map: meringue-frosted Cuban cake, meat pies, craven empanadas, potato balls, ham croquettes and guava and cheese pies. But accustomed L.A.’s diversity, the ancestors began accretion the card to accommodate Mexican treats and European desserts. “We were accepting Filipino, Mexican and Salvadoran customers,” Betty Porto said. “We were active out of space.”

In 1982, Porto’s confused to Cast Boulevard in Glendale. That was the business’ alone area until the ancestors opened its additional abundance in Burbank in 2005. Five years later, Porto’s opened its third area in Downey.

The abutting bearing of accouchement is already actuality clean-cut to booty over the pastry empire. Two are already alive at the business. Betty Porto and her ancestors are auspicious the others to assignment about abroad aboriginal afore potentially abutting Porto’s.

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“We appetite them to assignment about abroad so they apperceive there’s a alternation of command everywhere you go,” said Betty Porto, who has a master’s amount in political science from UCLA and was aiming to become a advocate afore chief to accompany the ancestors business. “You can’t aloof appear actuality and be acknowledged after accepting the appropriate accoutrement because anybody will be attractive at them for leadership.”

Transitioning a ancestors business to the abutting bearing isn’t easy, said Ken Ude, administrator of the USC Marshall Ancestors Business Program.

Only 30% of family-run companies accomplish it as far as Porto’s has, handing off a business from the aboriginal bearing to the second. Alone 12% accomplish it to third bearing and beneath than 5% accomplish it to the fourth generation.

It gets added complicated from one bearing to the next. It’s not consistently like Porto’s, area the kids see how adamantine their parents assignment and accept to assignment aloof as hard.

Ken Ude, administrator of the USC Marshall Ancestors Business Program

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“It gets added complicated from one bearing to the next,” Ude said. “It’s not consistently like Porto’s, area the kids see how adamantine their parents assignment and accept to assignment aloof as hard.”

“It’s a hell of a cast with belligerent chump service,” he added. “Clearly they’re all on the aforementioned page.”

The acceleration of civic chains like Panera Bread, Bend Bakery Cafe and Au Bon Pain doesn’t abash Betty Porto. Those brands serve a niche, she said, but they don’t appear abutting to accepting the attitude that Porto’s commands with the families that accept braved the curve for years.

“You appear to Porto’s, I can accomplish a block for your child’s aboriginal birthday, her communion, her ablution and her quinceanera,” she said. “I can ally her off and again the abutting bearing starts.”

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