By: Crystal Madelyn Escobedo
As you enter Elizabeth’s Bakery parking lot you will notice an elderly man guarding and greeting customers as they approach.
Manuel Parra, owner of Elizabeth’s Bakery, migrated from Cuba to the U.S when he was a young man. Parra had a great deal of ambition and determination.
The menu has expanded since Elizabeth’s first opened. For example, they now serve tamales, tortas cubanas, pastries, smoothies, fresh fruit salads, bionicos and much more.
The conchas remain the draw. Parra’s organization has been in operation for approximately 35 years.
Although Parra is Cuban, the style of pan dulce (sweet bread) is Mexican.
Although the bakery is 12,000 square feet, it is still not big enough for the long lines that form everyday by regular customers.
According to Parra, Celene Chavez is the longest working employee at Elizabeth’s Bakery. Chavez and her brother Noel Chavez, have the closest relationship to Parra.
“I’m here every morning picking bread for my mother, before heading to work. Conchas and bolillo are my favorite things to order here at Elizabeth’s Bakery,” said Rachel Beltran, a young woman standing in line to choose her bread.
Beltran was taught to have conchas (sea shell shaped sweet bread) alongside a cup of hot coffee from her mother, who has been a customer for ten years. “I also love their cakes. We typically get our cakes here for any family birthdays or special events,” said Beltran.
Maria Cisneros, an elderly woman waiting in line, said she loves Elizabeth’s Bakery for its Mexican authenticity. Cisneros comes in for pan dulce to take back home and share with her two granddaughters.
On the days she has extra time, Cisneros has a seat and enjoys a green sauce chicken tamale.
According to Cisneros, she has not found a better bakery in town.
“The moment I was handed my pan dulce, I quickly searched for an empty table where I sat with my granddaughter to have our first bite and I was immediately reminded of bread I bought from a little corner store in Nayarit, Mexico called La Esquina del Pan Dulce Mexicano,” Cisneros said.
The busiest days at Elizabeth’s Bakery are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The busiest hours of the day are from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Elizabeth’s Bakery is located at 2828 Firestone Blvd. South Gate Ca, 90280. The bakery is opened from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and it is opened 7 days a week. Their contact number is (323) 566-3834.