Leonard Rego Jr.
With a humble demeanor, Leonard Rego Jr., owner of Leonard’s Bakery, says that he has just tried not to mess anything up.
“I am so grateful for my parents’ hard work and that they bought the property. I can’t really describe the success. I guess I’ve just been lucky,” says Rego, who was on the cover of MidWeek Aug. 21, 2002.
He has slowly incorporated new tastes into the bakery, but has kept it pretty simple, a novelty that has worked since Leonard’s first opened in 1952. “There are our malasadas, we make really great sweet bread and coffee cakes. We also offer our pao doce wraps with Portuguese sausage or ham, and have started selling items with a little more food value,” Regos says.
An island favorite, Leonard’s in Japan just celebrated its second anniversary (above). “I met some really nice folks from Japan and flew over to make some malasadas for them and visit, and now we have a bakery at the Yokohama World Borders Shopping Center. It is a really beautiful place.”
Just as Rego did for his parents, his children - Frank III, 14, Tiana, 11, and Pavel, 7 - are beginning to involve themselves in the family operations, and they are having a lot of fun learning the ways of the bakery. “The kids are great helpers, and such quick learners. I show them how to do something once and they already know how to do it,” says Rego. “We all make the commercials together; they are the stars of the show.”
Many people may not guess that for more than 30 years Rego has been a certified pilot, and he continues to fly a twin engine six-passenger Piper Seneca, an activity he now shares with his son. “It is a great thing to learn,” he says. “I am getting Frank III started in private pilot courses. It’s a stepping stone. I am really happy for him.”
Rego, who once was an avid skydiver, took his first jump since 1986 last month with good friend Frank Hinshaw, owner of Skydive Hawaii.
“I was a little rusty, but you can’t think about it. Just stay aerodynamic and don’t die,” Rego says with a laugh.
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