Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Bakeries Celebrate the Recipes and Flavors That Reflect their Roots 

Hispanic Heritage Month kicked off September 15, and Dawn Foods sat down with two of our customers to learn more about how their culture and traditions influence their recipes and the relationships they’ve built with their communities.

El Nopal Bakery Places Heavy Focus on Traditional Mexican Pastries

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Based in Hollister, California, El Nopal Bakery has been a part of its community for nearly 50 years. Now operating two locations with 18 employees, the bakery was started in 1975 by current owner Frankie Berlanga’s father, Aldolpho Berlanga. Aldolpho had returned from the war in Vietnam, and as a third-generation baker, knew he wanted to start his own bakery. He drove around with his father, the owner of El Nopal bakery in Pajaro, looking for the perfect location.

“They found that spot in the quaint, quiet town of Hollister, and from opening, my father made a promise to himself to provide his community with traditional Mexican bread and tortillas that were authentic and representative of the Mexican culture and way of life,” said Frankie.

Today, Frankie is carrying on those traditions and sharing them with a growingly diverse customer base. “I think the most unique aspect of our business today is our varied clientele,” he added. “It’s growing, and more and more people are interested in our Mexican pastries, tortillas, and breads.”

Frankie considers Hispanic Heritage Month a time to celebrate “all aspects of our culture and heritage,” he said, adding “It is an opportunity to share our traditions with community members to create a better understanding and deeper relationships with all of them.”

Many of El Nopal’s recipes are traditional recipes that originated in Mexico with Frankie’s great grandfather. “My heritage is infused in everything,” he said. “I like to highlight trigo (wheat) and fresh ground cinnamon in cemas de trigo y canela. These are very hearty, earthy flavors that remind me of the resilience and uniqueness of our Hispanic culture.”

Frankie attributes his success to balancing an honor of the past with a focus on cultural relevance for today. “It is a balance of old and new.” His plans for the future are to keep growing his clientele while continuing to promote and educate people about his bakery’s traditions.

You can learn more about El Nopal on Facebook or on Instagram @el_nopal_hollister.

El Sol Panadería y Pastelería Fuels Family Dreams While Serving Its Community

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Before opening El Sol in Irving, Texas, owner Odette Orduño was a teacher with Irving ISD and her husband was a project manager for a construction company. He always had the dream of one day owning his own construction company, so to make that happen, the Orduños turned to the family business – baking – to help give them the financial push they needed.

The Orduños opened El Sol in December of 2012 and since then, have never looked back.

“Our panadería specializes in Mexican bread since both my husband and I are from Mexico,” said Odette. “Our recipes for pan dulce are originally from his grandfather who had his own little bakery in his hometown of Guanajuato, Mexico. All our breads are made daily by hand. Our bakers start the day at 4:00 a.m. to prepare everything fresh.”

Odette notes that all their products are specialty products unique to their Mexican heritage, but there is certain pan dulce that are the most beloved with their customers. “Conchas, marranitos, empanadas, pan blanco, orejas, donas, and mantecada are our customers’ favorites,” she said. “Also, our tres leches cake is our number one selling product; customers come from far away to order them from us.”

The month of September has always held a special place in the hearts of the Orduños. “September is one of the most important months among the Mexican community not only here in the US as Hispanic Heritage month, but also in Mexico. This month we celebrate Independence Day on September 16. We decorate our windows with Mexican designs, make conchas tricolor (green, white, and red), and cupcakes with Mexican flags.”

Because of their hard work, the Orduños are searching for a location to build a new bakery that can serve even more of their loyal customers. And the construction business? The bakery was so successful that they were able to open their own construction company four years after opening the bakery. Odette now works at the bakery full-time and continues to hone her growing craft. “I feel very proud of myself and my employees because we all together work very hard every day to offer the best product possible. We all work as a team and even though we have faced many challenges, we continue to succeed.”

Learn more about El Sol Panadería y Pastelería by visiting their website here.

Contact Dawn Foods today for more information or help to answer any of your questions.


NOTE: Due to industry-wide supply constraints, some products may be temporarily unavailable for purchase