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Brother and Sister Open Cuban Bakery on Roosevelt Avenue, Steeped in Family Tradition

La Gran Via Bakery at 78-14 Roosevelt Ave. (Photo: QueensPost)

Jan. 24, 2019 By Meghan Sackman

A Cuban bakery opened on Roosevelt Avenue earlier this week offering traditional pastries, sandwiches and specialty cakes.

The eatery, called La Gran Via Bakery, is located at 78-14 Roosevelt Ave. and is owned and operated by two siblings who worked in their parents’ Cuban bakery as kids.

Betsey Leites and Roy Leyva were raised in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, where they worked at their parents’ and grandfather’s bakery—also called La Gran Via Bakery. That bakery, located at 45-16 5th Ave., has been open for 41-years ago, and the siblings grew up in an apartment above the store.

The pair wanted to branch out and decided to open a second family store. They picked Jackson Heights, attracted to the diversity of its residents.

The establishment takes on a family feel, with old pictures of the siblings’ parents working at the Sunset Park eatery on the wall.

The bakery offers traditional Cuban pastries and sandwiches, such as a Medianoche—a pressed sandwich served on a sweet roll with ham, cheese, roasted pork and pickles. It also offers Dominican, Puerto Rican and Mexican baked goods.

Most of the items are baked or prepared at the Sunset Park location and are shipped over twice a day.

But Leites said that they also put a great deal of emphasis on their cakes.

“We customize cakes for any special occasion. I design cakes for each individual customer, how they want it,” Leites said.

The bakery takes over the space that was formerly occupied by Top Shoes. It does not offer seating. However, there are tall tables for customers to eat their pastries and drink coffee.

The bakery offers an array of Central and South American coffee.

“In this bakery we specialize in coffee,” Leites said. “Espresso, cortadito, cafe con leche…We only make Spanish coffee in our bakeries.”

Leites said that the eatery is off to a good start. ““Everyone has been overly nice with us… It’s actually really awesome.”

The bakery is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There will be a grand opening event this Saturday at 2 p.m.

Cakes on Display at La Gran Via Bakery at 78-14 Roosevelt Ave. (Photo: QueensPost)

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Deborah Rodriguez

I am so glad I walked in and bought the most delicious cake my family and I have ever tasted!! It was my husbands birthday and I was running around looking for a cake ( boring carrot cake) and I happened to see this gorgeous Quatro leche cake. The man that helped me was soo kind and took his time to explain what each cake was even offered me coffee as I waited for the cake to be wrapped up. He gave me a small pastry and it was absolutely amazing !!! I can not wait to go back and order my daughters first birthday day cake!! My husband loved his birthday cake and my two teenage sons practically inhaled the cake . Thank you a million times !!! I’ll be back for more and that’s a promise!!!!!


I went there this morning. They definitely need seats and should showcase the bocaitos and pastelitos and sandwiches in the front where the sweets are so more people can see what else they offer. The coffee was delicious and the ham and cheese sandwich was so tasty. Definitely going back. They were very nice

Carmen Maria Rodriguez

And we love YOU back. Thank you for saying that, it’s made my day.

La cubana

Bakery is good and I wish then lots of luck.
One think I don’t like is that there is not seats.
I you go with some friends specially Jackson Heights were there there are a lot of seniors, we hant to seat down and enjoy a good coffe, a nice cuban sandwich, a all those sweets treats.
This to me is a take out place. Sorry but that is my feeling and a lot of my friend agree with me

JHeights my whole life

The sad truth is that many restaurants in NYC don’t have seats or to many seats because it promotes people with nothing to do and nowhere to go to take up chairs for hours. Go to starbucks or Dunkin Donuts or any fast food place. You will see many people who buy the most inexpensive thing on the menu (most buy nothing at all) and then taking up chair and table space for hours. This creates problems for the customers and staff.

R Tapanes

Wonderful news. Great to see diversity as it relates to Queens and to its Latin American residents. Lots of differences between all the groups and its great that Cubans and their incredible diaspora are being represented.

JHeights my whole life

Thank you to the Leites and Leyvas families for bringing Cuban food back to Jackson Heights there hasn’t been a decent Cuban Sandwich around here since La Lechonera on the corner Junction blvd. and Roosevelt closed in the early 2000’s and El Sitio closed in the late 2000’s on 69th st. And Roosevelt. Sorry every Spanish restaurant out here that serves what they blaspheme and call a Cuban Sandwich but it’s just ham and cheese on Italian bread. That is not a Cuban Sandwich. And to La Gran Via you guys got medianoches too with Cuban coffee, I will see you really soon. There used to be a vibrant Cuban community in Jackson Hts in the 70’s and 80’s mostly between Elmhurst hospital and 34th ave in the 75thst to 82nd st area. The blocks of 75 to 80th st between Roosevelt and the hospital was referred to as “Cuba Chiquita” by the locals because of it’s high number of Cuban families and businesses in that vicinity. Businesses like Mario’s bodega on 75th and Roosevelt and Rodolfo’s photographer shop on 76th st. and Roosevelt. In the 80’s most of the supers in Jackson Hts. buildings were Cuban. And since they were mostly Mariel and Cuban revolution survivors they were lots of tough hard working people among them. I remember my Cuban super in my building beating up would be robbers, gang members, and muggers in the lobby and on the fire escapes of the building back in the 80’s when crime was high. Cubans were one of the first Latin immigrant groups to settle Jackson Hts back in the 70’s. And being of Cuban ancestry myself and having had grown up in this neighborhood my entire life I am so glad to see a bakery like this again. I wish much success and great fortune to La Gran Via bakery.


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