Love story: Oakland couple fell in love 15 years ago, opens 2nd café at business where they met

Luz Pena Image
Friday, September 2, 2022
Love story: Oakland couple opens café at business where they met
An Oakland couple who fell in love 15 years ago opened a second location of their café, Oaklandia, at the location where they first met.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- An Oakland couple is celebrating the launch of the second location of their Oaklandia Cafe and Bakery.

They fell in love 15 years ago and today they are experiencing a full circle moment.

"It's a big day because we are opening our dream café," said Latorra M., owner of Oaklandia Cafe & Bakery. "Me and my husband get to team up and use our superpowers."

That husband is Carlos, the baker.

Luz Pena: "What is the secret?"

Carlos R.: "I think the secret is that you have to put a lot of love and heart in what you do."

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Besides flour, love is the main ingredient that brought Carlos and Latorra together. That was 15 years ago in a kitchen just like the one they have now.

"This is out of a movie some people would say, but you know when you are going to marry someone. It was strange because when I met him, I was like, 'That's my future husband.' In the back of my mind, I said that. I was like, 'That's strange why did you say that?'" Latorra said.

Luz Pena: "Did he also think, that's my wife?"

Latorra M.: "You would have to ask him. He is a man of few words."

Back in the day, Latorra worked the front of the house and Carlos was in the kitchen.

They fell in love and today they are celebrating more than the opening of their second location; the restaurant group that was here was the one they worked for when they met.

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"It's feels circle for me," said Latorra and added, "I was the kid that couldn't go to culinary school and didn't get those opportunities. I had to work my way up and learn those skills. I took the time to learn working for the company that was here before and now I own the space that they used to be."

Latorra was born in Oakland. Their business name, Oaklandia, pays homage to her roots. At the entrance, they have a love letter to their customers. Oaklandia's signature drink is the black and brown latte, a drink that celebrates diversity and Carlos' and Latorra's story.

"Our cultures collide because we learned how to integrate that. We have two children, so we have Spanish in our home," Latorra said.

And just in case you were wondering:

Luz Pena: "She (Latorra) told me that when she met you she said, 'That's the guy I'm going to marry.' Did you have the same feeling?"

Carlos R: "I think so, yeah."

Oaklandia Café's second location is at 555 12th street Oakland, California.

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