We had the good fortune of connecting with Deanna Ductoc Co-Owner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Deanna Ductoc, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My father, Angel Ductoc Sr., opened Los Angelitos Bakery with my grandfather, Angel Joaquín Ductoc in 1992. He has gone into detail with myself about what his thought process was behind starting his own business. In Cuba my grandfather owned many small shops around the neighborhood, so his business mindset was taught to my father from an early age. After coming to the United States in 1971, no matter how many challenges they faced as a family being Cuban refugees, they never stopped working as hard as they could. Fast forward to 1988 my father met my mother and they were married by 1989, which is the same year they welcomed their first child and bought their first home. By 1990 they had two children to support and a mortgage to pay. My mother told me that she remembers one Christmas morning she cried because there were no gifts under the tree for my older brother, myself, or family members. They struggled to make ends meet that it still was not enough. My father tells me he will never forget that day because that was the day that pushed him to open up his business. He began helping out his younger brother at a bakery that he owned and knew it was something he was capable of also succeeding at. So he proposed his idea of opening up a bakery to my grandfather in 1992 and that same year they applied for a loan, acquired a business license, completed all steps to legally have a business in Los Angeles, and opened the doors of Los Angelitos Bakery in August! He never regrets making that decision to start his own business. He understood the risks that come with having your own small business, but he wanted to be able to provide a better future for himself and his family, so nothing was getting in his way – not even fear! Now, almost 30 years later, it continues to grow!
What should our readers know about your business?
Our customers are the heart of our small family owned business! We understand that their support and loyalty is what keeps our doors open. We would not have been able to be around for almost 30 years without our loyal customers in the community. We have fortunately been able to grow our range of customers, thanks to social media, but we recognize that our community has been with us for 30 years and are confident enough to know they will continue to for another 30 years and more! This sets us apart from other businesses because we ensure to stick to our cultural roots. We strive to continue to satisfy our “OG customers.” We stick to the same recipe for decades knowing it is what they love and continue to come back for! We strive for authenticity and do not follow a trend that’ll gentrify our entire business. We find ways to be innovative without taking away the original taste, meaning, and cultural influence that is behind every pan dulce, pastry or cake we’ve created. We create such a safe space that gives a nostalgic feeling every time you walk in or even pass by and get that smell of fresh bread. We have customers that brought their children years ago, who are now grown up and bringing their own children! We love knowing that we have been a part of different generations within families!
My father created a slogan for our family business which is “Enjoy a Heavenly Experience” and coming to Los Angelitos Bakery we take every measure to ensure that!
We have faced some challenges, as no business is perfect, but we use those challenges to grow. Whether it be an issue with an order, short staffing, low sales, or even a pandemic, we have found that that is when we need the support of the community the most. Their understanding, willing to help, and the strength of our family and employees is what has gotten us out of some challenging moments.
So we want the world to know that we are thankful. Thankful to have the opportunity to have our doors open, thankful to be able to serve our community, thankful to be here. We cannot do it without the loyalty and support of our customers, so we will forever be thankful.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There is so much to do in the city of Angels! Los Angeles offers so much that even a week in town wouldn’t be enough time to experience all of LA – even after 30 years I’m still finding new experiences in my city. But I would recommend many places, especially to eat! Of course the first stop would HAVE TO BE Los Angelitos Bakery (lol). We are the home of the Kobe conchas, so of course that is a must! Don’t forget our Dodger conchas and our famous Concha Bouquets! Other than conchas, we have a wide selection of various pan dulces where our recipes originated in Mexico! Let’s not also forget to taste our pastries in our showcase that include our delicious slice of 3 leches cake! Other than our bakery, I would also recommend checking out El Tepeyac in East LA for their wet burritos, La Abeja in LA for breakfast, find yourself a local taco truck and order amazing tacos, there are so many food festivals to go to to try out local businesses, and so much more that I could be writing for days! But definitely do not miss out on some amazing Cuban Food which can be found by visiting El Cochinito by Dodger Stadium, where you can go after to catch a Dodger Game and watch the 2020 World Champs in action! Speaking of 2020 Champs, catching a Laker game is a must! There is just so much to do, see and eat in LA that this list can go on and on!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to dedicate this special shout-out to my grandfather, Angel Joaquin Ductoc! He worked so hard next to my father, every single day until his last. He poured his entire self into this bakery, time, money, effort, energy, blood, sweat, tears, everything! He would spend all day and night, even sleeping in the office, to be able to have the doors open as much as possible for the community! Because of him, I continue to push our family owned business to its full potential. Because I want to make him proud, we continue to give back to our community. Because of what he built with my father and all that was invested, I never want to see it fall, so it pushes me to work even harder! My grandfather is the definition of hard work! He hustled every day to provide for his family and I want to continue the same. So I dedicate this shoutout to him, because I want his legacy to continue, I never want him to be forgotten.