The bakery and café is certain to get much business from the 70 employees of SCA Appraisal Co., located a few blocks from the new store, SCA President Tim Davis said.
"We will drive from our location to Glendale where many of the employees will go for lunch," Davis said. "The fact that they are coming here makes us really excited."
Rosa Porto began selling cakes out of the family's Los Angeles home in 1968. When that got too busy, the family opened a storefront in Los Angeles in 1973. In 1978, they moved the business to Glendale where they have been for the last 26 years.
Chicago-based Modern Baking magazine named Porto's the 2004 "Retail Bakery of the Year" out of 13,000 retail bakeries throughout the country.
That so many people came out for the opening says something about the bakery's reputation, Burbank Mayor Jef Vander Borght said.
"This is probably the biggest crowd I've seen at a grand opening," he said.
Porto's is located in what had been a Thrifty drug store left vacant for more than six years. Attracting a popular, independently owned eatery fits in with the city's overall plan to boost the presence of the Magnolia Park neighborhood.
The city loaned the eatery $790,000 to remodel the interior, replace the roof and make other improvements to the 14,000-square foot building. One-tenth of the loan amount will be forgiven for each year Porto's stays open.
Raul Porto Jr. hopes the business will be around for another 100 years and praised the work of his parents, Raul Sr. and Rosa, for laying the groundwork for the successful business.
"My parents worked their hearts out and are committed to what we do," Raul Porto Jr. said.
"That is what success is all about. It doesn't come overnight."
Burbank resident Nina Holman said that Porto's will be a boost for the neighborhood.
"It's a lovely building and a lovely business and the food is great," Holman said.
"I've been to the Glendale one and I'm sure it will be just as excellent."
* MARK MADLER covers City Hall and the courts. He may be reached at (818) 637-3242 or by e-mail at mark.madlerlatimes.com.