Raul Porto Sr., Founder of Porto’s Bakery & Cafe, Dies at 92

Raul Porto Sr., Founder of Porto’s Bakery & Cafe, Dies at 92

Rosa Porto (L), pictured with her husband Raul Sr., grew Porto's from her humble home kitchen to a thriving business. (Courtesy of Porto's Bakery & Cafe)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

5/24/2024

Updated: 5/24/2024

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The founder of Southern California’s famous and popular Porto’s Bakery, Raul Porto Sr., has died at the age of 92, his family announced May 24.
Mr. Porto was surrounded by his family when he died peacefully Wednesday, according to a social media announcement by his family.
“To our family, friends, and guests from across our communities: while words cannot fully express our sadness at this time, we want to extend our deepest gratitude for your continued support and all the love and kindness you have shown us throughout the years,” his family posted on Instagram Friday.
Seeking the American dream, he and his wife Rosa left Cuba with only the clothes on their backs and a dream of a better life.
Using her own recipes, Rosa Porto began baking and selling cakes in their kitchen to friends and family after they arrived, while her husband worked at another bakery. Mr. Porto would help his wife as often as he could, according to the family. After many years, he was able to join her full time, and dedicated himself to growing their bakery business.
In 1976, the couple opened their first storefront on Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park. Their three children—Beatriz, Raul Jr., and Margarita—helped at the bakery after school and on weekends, eventually taking on bigger jobs after they graduated from college.
From left, Porto siblings Beatriz ("Betty"), Raul Jr., and Margarita run Porto's Bakery, started by their mother, Rosa. (Brian Feinzimer)

From left, Porto siblings Beatriz ("Betty"), Raul Jr., and Margarita run Porto's Bakery, started by their mother, Rosa. (Brian Feinzimer)

The bakery now serves its renowned cheese rolls, potato balls, strudels, sweets, cakes, Cubanos, and other savory treats at locations in Northridge, Buena Park, Burbank, Downey, Glendale, and West Covina. A seventh location in Downtown Disney in Anaheim is on the way, according to the bakery’s website.
Lines usually run out the door most days as customers queue up for hot lunch and bakery goods at the family’s Burbank location.
Mr. Porto was known for his humble nature, and was a devoted husband, father, and businessman, “inspiring all who knew him with his passion and commitment,” according to the family.
The couple retired several years ago to dedicate their lives to their family and grandchildren. Rosa Porto died in 2019 at the age of 89.
The future location of Porto's bakery in Downtown Disney of Anaheim, Calif., on Jan. 18, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The future location of Porto's bakery in Downtown Disney of Anaheim, Calif., on Jan. 18, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

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Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

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Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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