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“Yes, I am a dreamer, and that has set Los Angelitos Bakery apart by creating a diverse line of ‘conchas’ with recipes that the community enjoys.”

Written by Reynaldo — January 29, 2024
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Experience and innovation. Deanna with her father and co-founder of Los Angelitos Bakery, Angel Sr. in 2006. (Deanna Ductoc)

Every night was a kind of celebration in the Ductoc family’s house. Angel Sr. would arrive with bags of bread, different every day, for his family to try and give their opinion. “We grew up eating sweet bread; every night we looked forward to it. He would arrive with his bags, and we would sit at the table to give our opinion,” says Deanna, co-owner and daughter of Angel Sr.

The Ductocs, with the entrepreneurial spirit of the Cuban community that has come to the United States, have built one of the most traditional Mexican bakeries in southern California for over 30 years, Los Angelitos Bakery, located in Huntington Park, a predominantly Latino city.

“My dad is Cuban, and my mother is Mexican, so we have both cultures. We celebrate all Mexican festivities and incorporate them into the products we offer at Los Angelitos Bakery” says Deanna.

Angel Sr. and Luz, when the dreams began in 1992. (Deanna Ductoc)

Angel Joaquín Ductoc, father of Angel Sr., supported him in everything to open the business. (Deanna Ductoc)

Angel Jr. and his father, Angel Joaquín Ductoc, emigrated to California in 1971. Other relatives were already waiting for them in this state. Always focused on work and building their own destiny, they took on various jobs. Angel Joaquín worked as a janitor, painting houses, and his wife, Deanna’s grandmother, sewed clothes. Joaquín Sr. supported them by working as a waiter and in event services.

Their connection with the bakery came about because Angel Sr.’s brother already had a bakery in Bell. His father helped him, and soon he realized the opportunities of having a similar one. So, along with his father, they decided to open Los Angelitos Bakery in 1992, which immediately became a must-visit place for the Latino population in the area.

“My dad can’t make bread; he’s very good on the other side of the business, but he had very good Mexican bakers who made an impact on the community with the quality of bread they produced,” adds Deanna. “It was a bit funny; each baker brought their ideas, which led us to have a stock of 50 different types of bread,” she says.

Deanna never takes ‘no’ for an answer. ‘Yes, you can’ is one of her phrases. This allowed him to create the Conchas bouquets.

los angelitos bakery

The KobeConchas, “4 years ago today we introduced our #KobeConchas that we continue to make every single day ever since! Thank you to all for always honoring him & representing through our culture”, writes Deanna.

Although Deanna has studied at UC Northridge and UC Long Beach, her attachment to Los Angelitos has led her to dedicate all her time to the business. “My father wanted to sell it; I told him to give me time to graduate and integrate myself full-time into the business before we made a decision,” she says.

She gradually became involved in the business operation, working as a cashier, helping with payroll, managing marketing, and social media. “I learn every day from my dad. I don’t know how he managed Los Angelitos. He has a full-time job in LA County and also took care of the business,” Deanna adds.

With the addition of Angel Sr.’s daughter, the perfect combination was formed. The experience, along with the introduction of new ideas for different types of bread and social media marketing, set Los Angelitos apart.

“We started doing what no one else was doing. Valentine’s Day was approaching, and I came up with the idea of making bouquets of ‘conchas,’ one of the most iconic Mexican breads,” she says.

At first, both the bakers and her family were skeptical.

“You and your crazy ideas,” Deanna recalls her father saying. “I started researching, the type of paper we needed, the prints, the glaze, everything. I believe we should try everything, not give up before we start,” she adds.

One of the events that left a mark on the business was when Kobe Bryant passed away. She knew about the presence and importance of the basketball player through a previous partner who had died. So, when Kobe died, she decided to create a commemorative ‘concha’ in his honor but also in memory of her ex-partner.

“I encountered the same skepticism, the colors, the preparation. I insisted. ‘Yes, you can.’ And it had such an impact on social media that it was a commercial success. From having a few followers on Instagram, we jumped to many thousands. However, I didn’t want people to think that we were profiting from his death; all the proceeds were donated to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation,” says Deanna.

At Los Angelitos Bakery they always try to honor the festivities of different cultures.

That event marked the beginning of a new era that set Los Angelitos apart. In many civic celebrations, they display their traditional ‘conchas’ with their respective colors: the green, white, and red of Mexico; the blue of the Dodgers, the rainbow of the LGBTQ+ community.

“We have to show the community that behind every bread, there’s a great deal of love. That has earned us the affection of the community,” she adds.

For Deanne, the challenge for Los Angelitos lies in its present and future plans. “I’m in a learning period, understanding the financial and production aspects better. I have many plans; one of them is to have a Pan Truck that travels to different cities to see people’s response. We could expand. We also make personalized ‘concha’ packages for events, parties, weddings, corporate events,” she says.

However, this family’s spirit of generosity and effort to achieve the ‘American dream’ is transferred to the community whenever possible.

“We collaborate with various organizations and give away bread to schools, Skid Row, when disasters happen in the community, and families are left unprotected. I am a dreamer; my dad always pushes me to think about the business, but I always think about how to help those in need, with what we can. We can make a difference. Yes, we are just a bakery, but if many bakeries and organizations unite, we can make a significant difference,” she concludes.

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