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Echo Park Mexican bakery closes after nearly 50 years of serving up pan dulce — “It wasn’t an easy decision”

By JACQUELINE FERNANDEZ

Echo Park — After nearly 50 years, Celaya Bakery closed its doors on October 28. It was one of the last Mexican panaderias in a gentrifying neighborhood where many long-time businesses have been closing.

“A combination of the changing demographic in Echo Park and costs of operating business began to take a toll,” said Andres Quiles, grandson of the original owners, Socorro and Manuel Caudillo.

“It wasn’t an easy decision.”

Celaya opened on May 3, 1970, taking over a Jewish bakery, Quiles said. Socorro, Manuel and their four daughters were there from opening until closing. The Caudillo family practically lived at the bakery, splitting their time with home and school.

Throughout its years, the most popular items were the conchas (Mexican sweet bread) and bolillos (variation of French bread), he said.

When Socorro retired, daughter Patricia took over the business. Many people were completely heartbroken by the news of Celaya’s closure, Quiles said.

“In the last days of Celaya, past and present customers were able to get one last order of pan dulce and bid their farewell to an old Echo Park classic,” he said.

Tamales Alberto, which supplied Celaya with tamales, will open a store and Mexican restaurant in the Sunset Boulevard storefront. This would be Tamales Alberto’s third location in Echo Park, including the original store, which opened nearly 20 years ago on Temple Street

Jorge Mejia, whose father, Alberto, opened the tamale shop, said he expects his family’s newest outlet to open in the Celaya space in about two weeks.

For now, those customers who want pan dulce baked in Echo Park will have to head a few blocks to La Espiga at the corner of Glendale Boulevard and Scott Avenue.

Tamales Alberto No. 3 will be at 1630 W. Sunset Blvd.

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6 comments

  1. We were heartbroken to see Celaya’s close recently. We’ve loved patronizing them for years and our kids have grown up on them. Truly, truly sad. The neighborhood surely is less without them.

  2. But wait, we got a Shoe Palace!

  3. Thanks Celaya for being great neighbors!

  4. I can’t believe it closed. My family and I have been loyal customers for decades. I’m heartbroken at the news. The last part of old echo park is gone.

  5. Sorry to hear they’re hanging up the tongs.

    Best wishes on whatever’s next for the family.

  6. Another small business not keeping up with the changing times and demographics. The new inhabitants of Echo Park are not those of the ones we were in the 80’s. The new crowd is looking to eat at fusion restaurants, sip $5 cup of coffee and slowly push out the long term residents. We’re I’m confused, these are the same people that are so called liberals, artists, people for the people…oh wait, I must be wrong, What I’ve seen is that these same people are the ones trash talkingTrump, but they are literally and physically doing more harm than Trump’s party. Now I’m really confused who is who.

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