For Betty, Raul and Margarita Porto, baking is more than a profession. It’s a way of life. After arriving from Cuba more than 40 years ago, the family opened their first bakery on Sunset Boulevard and have since expanded to Glendale, Burbank, Downey and Buena Park with a West Covina location on the way. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has supported them at every step.
Sharing their business success is also part of the Portos’ way of life. Each year the family donates more than a $1 million to help the homeless, and their bakeries generate foot traffic that helps communities grow and thrive. “Everything in life is about giving back,” says Betty Porto. “You’re only as good as what you leave behind as a legacy.”
REVITALIZING DOWNTOWN DOWNEY
Since opening their Downey bakery, Porto’s has helped the town prosper. “We had been trying for years to do something downtown,” says Gilbert Livas, Downey’s City Manager. “They bring in 3,000 customers per day. There are 150 housing units that have been developed all because of Porto’s coming in to our downtown. It’s become an anchor in our community. The pride that they generate is beyond value.”
A MISSION OF SERVICE
The family’s commitment to sustainability goes even further. “The Portos provide us with $1.6 million in delicious pastries per year,” adds Andy Bales, CEO of Union Rescue Mission, an LA-area homeless shelter. According to Phillip Ashley, Union Rescue Mission’s Cook Manager, Porto’s impact is immense. “When I hear a child crying, I’ll grab a Porto’s pastry and take it to that child. And they stop crying.”
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