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Borinquen Bakery - An Islanders Dream Come True

What’s in a business name? Borinquen is synonymous with the island of Puerto Rico and the name possibly has been in use by both Puerto Ricans and native islanders for more than 500 years. The name reminds many of its Borinquen Bakery customers of the tranquil, refreshing and beauty of a tropical island. Mary Ortiz had a dream of following in her father’s footsteps of owning her own bakery full of baked goods reminiscent of her native Borinquen.  Her father, a successful baker who mastered his skills in Puerto Rico and is also an owner of a bakery in the city of Hartford, guided and taught her at an early age, all he knew about baking and to his surprise 15 years ago she decided to leave his business and not far from Hartford, in a much smaller city named New Britain, in a business strip that had seen better days, Mary decided to open her bakery. Her first years were much like most start-ups, difficult with long hours, but by the fifth year she was operating a business that was growing year over year and today sales are in excess of $800,000.


Always the dreamer, she envisioned herself owning a building to expand her business and which would be built-out exactly to her specifications. She knew what her customers wanted; larger retail floor space, an gathering area to sit, eat and chat, better lighting, parking, front store eye appeal, more fresh baked products on display and to choose from, a special customer room to discuss privately catering plans, larger cake and deli/sandwich departments, better baking quarters to increase production, and above all the clear branding and display of the name Borinquen throughout the store.


Working with the Connecticut Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the city of New Britain, Connecticut Economic Development Fund (CEDF), Small Business Administration (SBA) and the State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) she found a property located at the corners of Arch and Monroe Streets, situated not far from the former location, offering 3x’s more usable space to 9,000 sq. feet to expand her bakery.  All of the partners worked in unison to make her dream come to full fruition, from a Microloan under the Small Business Administration to help seed the purchase, a mortgage from CEDF to acquire the property, renovate the interior and exterior, financing from DECD for new equipment and tax incentives provided by the city, Mary was able to acquire the property in October 2015.  With the relocation and expansion, today Mary has nearly doubled the staff from 12 to 20 employees, most of which are full time and paid above minimum wages.  Sales continue to outperform and she is proud of her accomplishments and the support she has received by the city and the many partners that believed in her Borinquen dream.



Company Name: 
Borinquen Bakery, LLC
New Britain, CT