Lorie Ann Mendoza-Rios is living proof that it’s never too late to accomplish your dreams.
Mendoza-Rios, is the owner and pastry chef of Lighthouse 55 Bakery and Mercantile, which opened December 2014 and is located at 396 Fourth St., Ste. 103, right across from the year-old San Benito County Superior Court.
Mendoza-Rios operates the business along with her husband, Samuel, their sons, Eric and Jared, and two daughters, Jaclyn and Michelle. When the bakery opened last December, Mendoza-Rios realized a dream that was nearly 20 years in the making.
Mendoza-Rios also developed her skills working as baker and cake decorator at renowned places like Dick’s Bakery in San Jose, Greenlee’s Bakery and Cosentino’s Market.
She also went to a French culinary institute in Campbell and went to Las Vegas two years ago to study under Toba Garrett, one of the country’s top artists and educators in the field of cake decorating and design.
Over the years, Mendoza-Rios has gained a huge following of loyal customers who keep on coming back to her for wedding cakes or a variety of pastries. When it comes to baking, Mendoza-Rios has a simple yet time-trued philosophy.
The name of her bakery, Lighthouse 55, takes on special significance. A Christian, Mendoza-Rios envisioned her bakery as being a lighthouse in the community. Her dad’s favorite number is five and her husband was born in 1955. Plus, Mendoza-Rios has always had an affinity for lighthouses.
With a rotating menu of 30 to 40 items, Lighthouse 55 has something to satisfy the person with even the sweetest sweet tooth. The burnt almond cake is the bakery’s top-selling item; however, the chicken salad sandwich also sells out fast, a result of the sizable lunch-hour crowd—many of whom are from the superior court—that come to Lighthouse 55 on a daily basis.
Speaking of love, Mendoza-Rios put an equal amount of time and her heart in the bakery’s décor as she does with her 12-hour workdays making cakes, pastries and sandwiches. From the different shades of color on the inside wall to the picturesque paintings and faux lighthouses, Mendoza-Rios wanted to make her customers feel right at home. And that’s exactly what she’s done.
Read this and more at the Hollister Free Lance article.