Schiff Honors LCF’s Porto Among Women of Year

Betty Porto, a La Cañada Flintridge resident, is presented a certificate from Congressman Adam Schiff during the annual Women of the Year luncheon Saturday in Echo Park.

La Cañada Flintridge resident Betty Porto was among the honorees at this year’s Women of the Year luncheon Saturday, April 22. Congressman Adam Schiff recognized inspiring women from the 28th District for their service to their communities.
Schiff celebrated the Porto family at the event in Echo Park, near where they opened their first bakery in the United States.
The Portos came from humble beginnings in Manzanillo, Cuba. After Fidel Castro’s violent revolution in the 1950s, Raul Sr. and his wife, Rosa, requested permission to leave the country. As they waited, both were dismissed from their jobs.
To support their children, Betty, Raul Jr., and Margarita, Rosa refined her baking recipes and started selling her cakes to neighbors and friends until the Porto family’s request to leave Cuba was eventually approved. They arrived in the United States in the early 1970s.
In the United States, they opened a bakery — Porto’s Bakery & Café — in Echo Park, which quickly flourished, with help from Betty and her siblings.
Betty attended John Marshall High School in Los Angeles while working at the family’s bakery, taking care of the front of the house because she loved interacting with people. Her mother, who credited much of her success to having earned a bachelor’s degree, influenced Betty’s love of learning.
Betty received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in political science from Cal State Los Angeles and UCLA, respectively. Her goal was to attend law school, but she quickly changed her mind because spending time with her family at the bakery awakened her passion for the business, and she wanted to support her parents, keeping in mind all the sacrifices they made for her.
She and her siblings became increasingly involved in the community, supporting many worthwhile organizations including Glendale Healthy Kids, the American Red Cross, the Glendale police and fire departments and the Alex Theatre, to name a few.
Also, for the past seven years, Betty has been a staunch supporter of Union Rescue Mission, donating the remaining food from Porto’s Bakery & Café at the end of each day.
She also gives tours of Porto’s Bakery & Café to culinary students, offering a first-hand, out-of-the-classroom setting, how to run a bakery and has even hired some of these students to work at Porto’s Bakery & Café.
Betty and Rick, her husband of 25 years, have two daughters.
The other women honored during the recognition, made each year during Women’s History Month, included Holly Hampton of Echo Park; Marlene Hitt of Sunland; Anne-Marie Johnson of Silver Lake; Phyllis Kim of Glendale; Lena Kortoshian of La Crescenta; Camille Lombardo of Pasadena; Christine Rodriguez of Elysian Valley; Noemi Torres of West Hollywood; Amanda Truelove Fairey of the Franklin Hills; Karen Volpei-Gussowof Burbank; and Amy Yanow of the Hollywood Hills.

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