A sampling of treats made at Fortaleza Bakery. (KEIZERTIMES/Joce DeWitt)

By JOCE DeWITT
For the Keizertimes

“Paso a paso.”

Step by step.

It’s how Treso Olmos, owner of Fortaleza Bakery, counters the difficulties of running a business in a place far from his roots. His motto little by little keeps the bakery running and has steadily increased the flow of loyal customers. (Fortaleza translates to “fortress.”)

Located at 3852 North River Road [MAP: 5], the bakery is not one of Keizer’s pioneering businesses. It was not built along with the town decades ago, and it is not the quaint mom and pop restaurant that Keizer families have been eating at for generations.

It is, however, a fairly new bakery that has brought Keizer a little bit of culture in the form of sweet desserts, built on the dream of a man and his family.

Olmos is the man with that dream. Originally from Juacan, Mexico, Olmos and his family moved to Keizer three years ago in hopes of beginning the business.

Opening the bakery eight months ago in Keizer, where businesses are predominantly white, was certainly a large leap of faith for Olmos and his wife, Rosa Lopez as neither are able to communicate in English.

“We feel welcome here and the people are good,” says Olmos about the town. He has nothing bad to say about how his family and dream were received by the community.

It is no wonder why the bakery is doing well, with its convenient hours, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and location on River Road.

First impressions from walking into the bakery would have one assume there is nothing particularly extraordinary about the place.

However, all it takes is a one-minute chat with Olmos or wife, Rosa to discover the efforts they contribute for a comfortable atmosphere and delightful menu.

In the shop, cookies and pastries line shelves behind glass and beautifully-decorated cakes cool in refrigerators.

“The pastries,” says Olmos, are the best part of running this business. The menu also includes empanadas, which are popular Mexican pastries that contain anything from meat to fruit.

“Our plans are to open more bakeries,” says Olmos.

When asked what the Keizer community can expect from this blossoming business, Olmos speaks of his hopes for more locations, the possibility of building a chain, and perhaps even opening shops further out in the country where he says they would do very well.