Area bakery provides little bits of home to many ethnicities

El Tricolor Bakery isn’t unique in northwest Las Vegas, but it comes close.

The 9-year-old Mexican bakery is one of a handful of ethnic markets and grocery stores northwest of Decatur Boulevard and just about the only bakery of its kind for miles around.

That’s exactly how El Tricolor founder and co-owner Alejandro Diaz likes it.

The Panorama City, Calif., native grew up in Jalisco, Mexico, and worked as a line cook at Caesars Palace for 16 years before founding the bakery with his brother in 2004.

El Tricolor’s founder still dreams of starting a Mexican-Italian fusion restaurant in Centennial Hills.

But with the bakery growing and he, his brother and his wife already overworked, it seems more likely they’ll expand El Tricolor first.

“In the northwest, there’s not too many Spanish-speaking people,” Diaz said. “In my mind, I had pictured a Mexican-Italian place, but we’re doing well here. It’s a good location for this type of place.”

Diaz had to raise half of El Tricolor’s $42,000 purchase price in cash before the panaderia could open its doors, but its location — at the corner of West Lake Mead and North Decatur boulevards — proved too good to pass up.

The Food 4 Less-anchored shopping center El Tricolor calls home is where an entire ZIP code’s Hispanic community comes to buy weekly groceries, according to Diaz.

Besides, he said, the place already had all the kneading, rolling and baking apparatus needed to start a panaderia; all it was missing was a couple of bakers.

“We had to hire a few bakers to come in and get it started because we had no idea how to bake,” Diaz said. “But slowly, my brother and I learned. We’re pretty good now. … No one complains.”

El Tricolor is named for the red, white and green theme of Mexico’s flag and specializes in Mexican staples such as 4-in-1 cake and sweet bread but has never been a nation-specific sort of place.

First- and second-generation Salvodorean, Cuban and Peruvian immigrants can find something familiar at the bakery.

That’s exactly why Mario Vargas, 16, finds himself picking up bread and pupusas at the location at least twice a week.

The Western High School sophomore and his family live a couple of miles away from El Tricolor.

Vargas said it’s always worth the trip.

“The have the best (Salvadorean) pupusas in the city,” he said. “There’s really no other place like it, at least around here.”

El Tricolor Bakery is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at 1951 N. Decatur Blvd. For more information, contact the bakery at 702-646-0068.

Contact Centennial and North Las Vegas View reporter James DeHaven at jdehaven@viewnews.com or 702-477-3839.


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