As the sun rises each morning heating the City of Glendale, there are hundreds of tasty morsels rising and warming in ovens at La Purisima Bakery, leaving the delectable smell of pan dulce, Mexican sweet bread, wafting through downtown.
La Purisima Bakery, 4533 W. Glendale Ave., has become a local staple for fresh breads, colorful pastries and Mexican specialties like green and red chile tamales. A family-owned and operated business for more than 33 years, the panderia is owned by Juan and Maricela Arrellano, and has been named Mayor Jerry Weiers’ Business of the Week.
“From the second you walk into that little blue building, you know that you are in for a real treat because you’re greeted by a friendly face and the best smell - fresh bread,” said Weiers. “The Arrellano family has truly poured their heart and soul into their business, and when customers are coming from all over the Valley to shop there, that speaks volumes.”
The bakery has been featured by culinary writers and on Cox7 Arizona, which noted that the business is essentially in operation 24 hours a day, going through 1,500 pounds of flour, 1,080 eggs and 300 pounds of shortening in a single day.
They feature specialty breads during the Christmas season. And there is always a rush at the end of October for pan de muerto, a puffed, sugar-dusted bread that is a cultural tradition for the Mexican Day of the Dead remembrance.
La Purisima Bakery employs 24 people, including many family members, who share their homegrown recipes made completely from scratch, an art kneaded down through generations.
“The art of baking - it’s made by hand,” said Irma Arrellano, who manages the store with her husband, Jose. “My father-in-law says if we work with love, you’re going to have a happy business, happy customers and everybody will be happy.”
At La Purisima, the phrase “it’s all in the family” is taken to heart. Juan Arrellano’s family owned a bakery in Mexico, while Maricela’s family had a bakery in Chicago in 1945. The families moved to Arizona to escape the cold winters. One wished to move to Texas, and the other wanted California, so they met in the middle and decided to head to Glendale.
Their mantra is printed on the business cards, “Si usted ya probo los demás ahora pruebe lo major,” meaning, “If you have already tried the others, now try the best.”
The bakery is open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and is closed Mondays.
The Mayor’s Business of the Week is a program initiated by Weiers in 2014 to recognize the entrepreneurial spirit in Glendale.
The purpose of the program is to heighten awareness of local companies by showcasing the many aspects of doing business in Glendale and the positive impact on our city, citizens and local economy.
Businesses that are named Business of the Week are also featured through Weiers’ social media channels and the Glendale Chamber of Commerce.