The ovens of Serrano Bakery haven’t stopped working in over 20 years. There is always a baker there, no matter the time of day, or the day of the week. This dedication to the craft has helped establish Serrano as one of the best bakeries in town — just make sure you get there while the pastries are fresh.
“We have conchas, orejas, empanadas, fresh baked bread, and more,” explains Jorge Serrano, one of the owners of the bakery. “To make all of this, we always have someone here. The bread bakers come in at 9 pm and the bread is ready by 4 am. It keeps going.”
Serrano Bakery has shaped Jorge’s life. His father opened the bakery when he was a kid, in the early 1990’s, and it has become a cornerstone of 23rd Street over the years. “Kids on the playground would ask me, ‘Jorge, how is the bakery going?’ Everyone knew it was our family bakery, and I would take pride in that.”
“Everything we have is thanks to this bakery,” Jorge explains. When Jorge’s father retired in 2012, the bakery was passed down to Jorge and his nine brothers and sisters who keep it running today. “Everyone here is family. We have cousins that work here in the afternoons, and my older brother is in here every day keeping things going.”
The hard work that goes into Serrano Bakery has helped them thrive over their two decade-long tenure, and there is something to be said about the power of a good pastry.
Serrano’s chonchas pastries, also called “seashells”, are one of the bakery’s best items. Large, doughy, and covered in a sweet frosting, las conchas are a cornerstone in the landscape of Mexican pastries.
I picked one up for a mere $.50, which is about the average price for a pastry at Serrano. It was definitely tasty — sweet, with what I think was a nutmeg-imbued dough. While the flavors were delicious, the pastry itself was a bit chewy. I stopped by Serrano in the afternoon, and it seems that the pastry went a bit stale during the day even though they were refrigerated.
Despite this, Jorge Serrano says that business at the bakery is booming.
“We do quinceañeras, weddings, birthdays. My sister is always making cakes for special occasions,” Jorge explains. “We sell out of las conchas every day, too. Every night we have people coming in to bake the bread, and every morning people come to get it fresh from the oven. We try to make the bakery a place for everyone.”
Serrano Bakery has the goods — just make sure you get it while it’s hot.
773 23rd Street, Richmond
Tel. (510) 215-6861
Seven days a week, 5 am to 10 pm
View their Yelp page here.
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