A Tradition to Change

For over 60 years, Valencia Bakery in the Bronx has been producing cakes for the Mott Haven neighborhood amongst others. In its history, the bakery faced many changes. Serving a Puerto-Rican community for many years, the bakery started to sell products for immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Mexico and other Latin-American countries. They came to Mott Haven about 20 years ago, bringing their tastes with them.

“People were looking for different types of cakes,” said Mike Eberle, affiliated with Valencia Bakery since the 1990’s. However, the change not only happened with the new flavors the bakery introduced. More and more people in Mott Haven had to face lower salaries in their jobs or even unemployment. Therefore, they could not afford the big cakes for their kid’s birthday anymore.

“Instead of buying a 16-inch cake and having neighbors over, they bought a 10-inch cake, as small as they could go,” said Eberle.

In the last few years, Eberle noticed another change, which did not arise due to economic problems, but due to the immigrants’ kids themselves.

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