SALINAS, Calif. (KION) Potential plans to close a local bakery famous for its masa for holiday tamales are on hold for now.
The family that owns Leal Bakery on 805 East Alisal Street tell KION News that they have a buyer who is a friend of the family.
Filomeno Leal opened the bakery in 1976 to support his wife and five children. Now Leal's children run the bakery but have announced their plans to sell it.
Leal Bakery is well-known for its masa for tamales which are especially popular during the holiday season. Lines typically run down the sidewalk in the days leading up to Christmas. Employees said that many families in Salinas rely on the masa for their holiday celebrations.
"Well, we are going to buy masa because we’re going to make tamales," customer Alex Rubalcava said. "It’s Christmastime. It’s always tamales with family.”
Rubalcava went on to say that this masa stands out from any other in the area because it's not too dry.
Now that the bakery is getting new owners, customers worry the recipe will change. Sylvia Leal, the current owner, said that customers should not expect the masa to be any different.
"I’m pretty sure that they’ll continue the masa like we have," Leal said. "Because it’s a good recipe that we have and it’ll be passed on to them."
Other family members explained that the reason they're selling the bakery is that they're getting older and running a business can be all-consuming. They said that the new buyer is in her forties and she has more energy to keep up with the high demand during the holidays.
Despite the masa's popularity today, family members said that Leal Bakery was known for something else when it first opened--tortillas.
"As the years went by, the business started to slow down as far as selling tortillas," Leal said. "And that’s when the masa kind of took over."
KION News is gathering more information on this story and will have the latest at 5pm and 6pm.