If you are looking for homemade and delicious traditional Mexican pastries and food, then Nortena Bakery is the place to go.
Owners Paz and Alfredo Alvarez have operated the business since January 2021, after taking over Paz Alvarez's father's bakery, which he owned for more than 20 years.
Nortena Bakery is family-owned, with Alfredo, Paz, her mother, cousin, and three children running the bakery.
Paz Alvarez arrives every day at 2:30 a.m. to start baking and cooking.
"We are modeled after a traditional Mexican bakery and eatery," she said.
They make hand tortillas that are sold throughout the area to other businesses.
"We make the best tortillas in all of Kern County," said Paz Alvarez.
Chicken and pork tamales, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, salsa, pastries, bread, and tortas (Mexican sandwiches) are prepared daily. They also sell Mexican chips, sodas, and beer.
"Our produce and all of the ingredients we use are fresh and sourced locally," said Paz Alvarez. "We pride ourselves in offering a friendly, warm, and welcoming service. As a small mom & pop shop, we can get to know our customers well. When you visit us, you experience a little bit of Mexico. I love cooking and prepare everything that we offer as if I was cooking for my own family. That is why we treat our customers as part of our household. Many tell us that our food reminds them of their mother and beloved Mexico."
The business is located at 1000 F St. off Highway 43 and 10th Street.
"Because of this, many of our customers are construction workers and truck drivers passing through town," Paz Alvarez explained.
"I love working with my family and enjoy our clientele," Son Julian Alvarez, 18, said. "Every day is different and exciting. We have customers that come in several times a week. We also have regulars that come in every day."
Julian Alvarez started working at his grandfather's bakery at the age of nine. Over the years, he has learned the family recipes.
"We prepare all of our food with great attention because we want our customers to leave happy and wanting to return. I believe we are accomplishing this with the many compliments we receive," he said.
"Wasco is the perfect place for us because everyone is kind," said Paz Alvarez. "When you walk down the street, people say hello. I enjoy the small-town feeling that allows for one to develop special relationships with our customers, and that feels good and rewarding."
The bakery has been affected by the pandemic.
"The cost of everything we use to bake and cook is going up because of inflation, and that impacts a small business like ours. Despite this, we have been able to stay open and keep our prices affordable. We offer tremendous value for a very reasonable price," said Paz Alvarez.