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East Texas baker shares rosca tradition with community

Thousands of East Texans travel to Henderson bakery to buy a special cake that symbolizes the end of the holiday season for families of Latino heritage.

HENDERSON, Texas — Thousands of East Texans are traveling to a Henderson bakery to buy a special cake that symbolizes the end of the holiday season for families of Latino Heritage. 

Pandería y Pasterlía El Bueno Gusto's owner Juan Colis isn't just a baker. He's the go-to guy for a Mexican tradition on Día de los Reyes, the sixth of January.

“For 12 years, we have continued the tradition of the rosca de reyes, which is celebrated across countries, but Mexico has one of the strongest traditions in this holiday," Colis said.

In the Christian religion, Día de los Reyes celebrates the day the three wise men first met baby Jesus and brought him gifts. 

“It’s a tradition that comes all the way from Europe to Mexico by Spaniards. We as Mexicans are very proud of our culture and we represent it through our traditions such as el Día de los Reyes,” Colis said.

A unique tradition that is celebrated differently across the world. In Mexico a rosca cake has something hidden inside. 

“The little figure in the cake represents baby Jesus," Colis explained. "As everyone takes turns to cut the rosca, if someone gets baby Jesus then they have to make tamales or dinner on February 2 for the day of la Candelaria."

Colis said his bakery's rosca recipe is special and the preparation begins days ahead of the holiday.

"El Panderia Buen Gusto we have our own recipe for the Rosca de Reyes and that recipe is what makes us different from other bakeries," Colis said.

The employee of the bakery works 16 hours a day preparing thousands of Rosca de Reyes cakes.

"I’m thankful to all our past and current workers because we wouldn’t have accomplished everything at El Pandería Bueno Gusto if it wasn’t for them," Colis said.

Colis said he hopes to teach more East Texans about Día de Los Reyes and the rosca tradition for years to come. 

“There are many people from different places that come specifically here in Henderson to buy our rosca, they say our roscas are the best in East Texas," Colis said.

For more information about roscas from Pandería y Pasterlía El Bueno Gusto click here

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