Culture

The Legendary Cuban Baker Rosa Porta Died on Friday at the Age of 89

The Los Angeles community is grieving after learning the news that Rosa Porto, founder of the legendary Cuban bakery Porto’s, died on Friday. The news was announced via Porto’s Instagram page. Porto was 89.

According to the business’s Instagram page, Rosa Porto “passed peacefully” on Friday “surrounded by her loving husband and family”. The post went on to describe Porto as an “incredible woman” who began her illustrious career by “selling cakes and pastries to friends and family”.

Porto’s started off humbly enough, with Rosa started her business by baking cakes for her children before her neighbors started asking her to make cakes for them.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Porto and her family emigrated from Manzanillo, Cuba to Los Angeles in the early 1970s. Their story is a common one for Cuban emigres, with the family leaving Cuba to escape the oppressive Castro regime. “You lived in a little bit of fear,” Porto told the Los Angeles Times in October. “When you requested to leave, they fired you from your job.” In Cuba, Rosa and her husband struggled to thrive in the communist government. Rosa lost her job as a manager at a cigar distributor and her husband, Raul, was sent to work at a labor camp. 

According to the Portos, the relocation was difficult for the family, who came to the U.S. “flat broke”. While Raul took work as a janitor, Rosa baked and sold cakes to neighbors in her Cuban community. But as the demand for Rosa’s baked goods increased, the Portos saw an opportunity for growth. 

The Portos’ empire began in 1976 with a small bakery in a strip-mall in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Silver Lake.

And although the family-owned bakery sold Rosa’s famous Cuban cakes that originally made her popular, they also expanded their menu to reflect local demographics. “We made Mexican bread because that was the neighborhood. We started changing based on whatever the clientele demanded,” Porto’s daughter, Margarita Navarro told the LA Times. “We wanted to be welcoming to everyone,” said Antonio Salazar, Porto’s VP of production.

And evidently, their business plan worked. Anyone who’s ever visited one of the three locations scattered throughout Los Angeles is immediately struck by the seemingly never-ending influx of customers. The bakeries were notorious for their long lines and chaotic dining rooms. According to the Porto siblings, the bakeries would sell on average 520,000 potato balls and more than a million cheese rolls on a monthly basis. “If we didn’t have the volume, we’d have to raise the prices,” Rosa’s daughter, Betty Porto, told the LA Times in 2016. The Porto’s business plan is part of what makes it so great. In 2016, Yelp named Porto’s the “Best Restaurant in the Country” based off of positive reviews.

Although Rosa Porto will be missed by both her family and the LA community, her legacy will be remembered as that of a hardworking businesswoman and a loving mother and grandmother.

According to the company’s Instagram post, Porto retired from running the bakery in her late 60s to “focus her love and passion on raising her seven grandchildren”. The family concluded the announcing of her passing with this heartfelt statement: “To all of our family, friends, and guests from across our communities: though there are no words that can convey our sadness at this time, we would like to express our sincere gratitude for all the love and kindness you have shown us throughout the years”. 

Naturally, Angelenos have taken to Twitter to express their condolences over the loss of this legendary Latina matriarch.

One could say that Porto’s was integral in shaping the LA food scene into what it is today.

This person had massive praise for Rosa Porto and her legacy:

Not many restaurants can claim the same sort of cultural impact that Porto’s can.

This person shared how integral Porto’s has become in their personal life:

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that there is always a Porto’s box at an LA party.

This Latina shared how Porto’s helped rep Cubano culture in the best way:

Porto’s: saving Cuban mothers’ time since 1976.

This person summed up Rosa Porta’s legacy wonderfully in a single Tweet:

What better legacy to leave behind than pure happiness for thousands of people? Rest in peace, Rosa Porto.

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Latina-Owned Wine Brands

Fierce

Latina-Owned Wine Brands

Justin Sullivan / Getty

As we continue to abide by CDC guidelines and stick out the pandemic by staying at home, many of us are also learning to take take part in the joys of virtual happy hours. And that means lots of wine.

So, why not also take part in promoting Latina-owned businesses while in quarantine by making sure that the wine brands you buy are in fact Latina owned? We rounded up some of the top Latina wine businesses in the game and have put them down in a list for you to check out and support.

Check them out below!

Ceja Vineyards

This 4th generation Latino family-owned winery is from Napa & Sonoma Valley. They’re a family-owned business that not only makes amazing wines but also shares fantastic wines, recipes, and happiness on their Instagram page.

Alumbra Cellars Shine Forth

https://www.instagram.com/p/CEN_xHABV8i/

This small wine company is Latina-owned and from Oregan. Alumbra Cellars is a small production wine from a small family vineyard.

Herencia Del Valle

Generations of the Herencia Del Valle family have worked in the vineyards together to craft award-winning wines. The brand is a boutique Cabernet house of the Napa Valley with a big base that loves their chardonnay.

Robledo Family Winery

This boutique winery produces a diverse portfolio of premium wines and is located in Napa, Sonoma, and Lake Counties. Many of the comments on their page seem to praise their red grape varieties!

Enriquez Estate Wines

This family-owned micro-winery specializes in small-batch Pinot Noir and Tempranillo wines from the Sonoma Coast, Petaluma Gap, and Russian River Valley. Muscat, Cab Franc, and Tannat are some of its fans’ most popular choices.

Fathia Wines

Fathia means victorious and there’s no doubt that this brand has had a victory with this brand. Fathia Wines is a family-owned micro-winery that is located in Sonoma Valley and produces single-varietal and naturally fermented wines.

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Naya Rivera’s Autopsy Report Says She Called For Help As She Drowned

Entertainment

Naya Rivera’s Autopsy Report Says She Called For Help As She Drowned

nickaylarivera / Instagram

Updated September 14, 2020.

Three months have passed since authorities confirmed the death of “Glee” star Naya Rivera. The actress passed away in a tragic drowning accident wherein authorities determined she died fighting to save the life of her own 4-year-old son Josey after they’d been swimming at Lake Piru in Ventura County, California. Various fans, friends, and members of the “Glee” cast have publicly mourned her death as a result.

Speaking about her death, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub explained during a News Conference that Rivera’s son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.”

“There are a lot of currents on the lake that appear particularly in the afternoon,” he added. “We believe it was midafternoon when she disappeared. The idea perhaps being that the boat started drifting, it was unanchored, and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back into the boat, but not enough to save herself.”

Now, heartbreaking details of Rivera’s death have been released by the Ventura County Medical Examiner.

According to the investigative report, Rivera’s 4-year-old son Josey said that before her disappearance they had counted to three and jumped off of the pontoon boat they were using at Lake Piru in Ventura County, California together. Josey said that soon after getting into the water his mother told him to get back on the boat.

“She helped him onto the boat and then he then heard [Naya] yell ‘help’ and she put her arm in the air. She then disappeared into the water,” states the investigative report.

According to People, “Officials also noted in the investigative report that while Rivera was in good health, she had a history of vertigo ‘that would get worse when she was in the water.'”

Rivera’s body was buried in July at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles.

According to BuzzFeed, Twenty-five people, including some of Rivera’s “Glee” cast members, attended a small service to say ‘goodbye.’

Soon after her disappearance and recovery, Rivera’s family put out a statement but the star’s younger sister Nickayla Rivera had yet to speak out.

In a post to her Instagram page, the 25-year-old model shared a heartbreaking tribute to her sister writing “there are no words.”

In an image shared to her Instagram page, Nickayla showed a black and white image of her giving Naya a kiss on the cheek. It’s the first public social media post shared by Nickayla since her sister went missing on July 8.

“Sister,⁣ There are no words to describe my love for you,” she wrote. “Side by side or miles apart, our connection is infinite. Our bond is unbreakable. We were complete opposites, yet simultaneously the same. The yin to my yang. I never knew that by losing you, I would find so much of you in myself.”

“I’ve never known a life without you in it & still can’t imagine it. My world is turned upside down. But through it all, everything we were, we are still,” she continued. “I’ll always look at you with the same eyes as I did when I was young. ⁣My shmaya, I’ll love you for eternity & miss you every second of my life.”

Tributes to Naya have not waned in recent weeks.

On Saturday, Rivera’s ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, also shared an emotional message about her death on Instagram calling it “unfair.”

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This is so unfair…there's not enough words to express the hole left in everyone's hearts. I can't believe this is life now. I don't know if I'll ever believe it. You were just here… We were just in the back swimming with Josey the day before. Life just isn't fair. I don't know what to say…I'm thankful for our times and our journey that brought us together and gave us the sweetest and kindest smart little boy we could ever hope for. I remember sometimes you used to get annoyed at me: "Ryan can you stop snap chatting!" Haha. I'm glad I didn't listen to you because I have hundreds and probably thousands of snaps and videos that Josey will have forever and know his momma loved him more than life, and how much fun we had together as he was growing up. Life is all about good times and bad times but with Josey it makes the bad a little less so because a part of you will always be with us. He'll never forget where he came from. We miss you. We will always love you. Love you Meep. 🖤💔🖤 ♥️ To everyone that reached out and I haven't had a chance to or just didn't get back to you…thank you all for the overwhelming love and support you've sent our way. I'll just say in closing, be kind to yourself, be kind to others, forgive…forget…don't hold grudges….if you have nothing nice to say maybe try not to say anything. There's peace in silence. Time on Earth is precious and you just never know….you never know what could happen. Hold your loved ones close, and cherish the times you have with those you care about. ♥️

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“This is so unfair… there’s not enough words to express the hole left in everyone’s hearts,” he captioned a photo of Naya Rivera holding their son. “I can’t believe this is life now. I don’t know if I’ll ever believe it. You were just here… We were just in the back swimming with Josey the day before. Life just isn’t fair.”

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