Celebrating Women's History

Family-owned Mexican bakery in central Indiana run by women

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — For more than 20 years, Mamá Inés Mexican Bakery has crafted delicious and authentic Mexican pastries in central Indiana.

It’s a family-owned business with two shops in Indianapolis — one on Washington Street and another on Georgetown Road — and a third in Lafayette.

Jessica Montoya is the manager of the two Indianapolis shops. Her mother, Rosa Gaeta Cornejo, is the owner.

“My biggest pride is coming from this family, especially after seeing all the sacrifices [and] struggles,” Montoya said.

Montoya says her mother came from Mexico to the United States in search of a better life.

Gaeta Cornejo says that while she was growing up in Mexico, her father wasn’t around, and her mother struggled to provide for her and her nine siblings.

“During a lot of my childhood, we didn’t have any electricity, running water, television, or a refrigerator, but we were very happy,” Gaeta Cornejo said.

After moving to the United States, Gaeta Cornejo saved up enough money to open her first bakery, a shop in Lafayette, in 1999.

Montoya says she and her mother have faced a lot of different challenges along the way, such as standing up against male dominance.

“I feel like we have to prove ourselves even more, which I don’t think it should be that way. I think maybe, at the end of the day, that’s what makes everything more satisfying,” Montoya said.

Gaeta Cornejo says she keeps pictures of family on the wall to keep inspiration alive. One of the pictures is of the woman whose name is celebrated in the name of the business — Inés Cornejo, Gaeta Cornejo’s mother and Montoya’s grandmother.

“My mom, well, she’s always been a huge moral support,” Gaeta Cornejo said. “Just feeling her love and support helps us a lot.”

Gaeta Cornejo says she hopes to inspire other women to never give up on their dreams.