Gingerbread village brings holiday cheer to downtown Long Beach

Isaac Salgado and Hulean Tyler made two gingerbread villages using hundreds of pounds of ingredients.

Jaysha Patel Image
Friday, December 3, 2021
Gingerbread village brings holiday cheer to downtown Long Beach
Two gingerbread villages were created and placed at Modica's Deli and the Bembridge House in Long Beach.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- If you go to Modica's Deli in downtown Long Beach, you'll find a gingerbread village made with flour, molasses, brown sugar, eggs and powdered sugar.

"I can tell you that just to put the icing on the mountain, we used about 350 pounds of powdered sugar alone," said Isaac Salgado, one of the gingerbread village constructors.

Salgado has his own flooring and carpet cleaning business working on real homes during the day, but after hours he works on edible homes.

Parts of the gingerbread village resemble actual areas in Long Beach.

Salgado says he used to be a chef, and has been using those skills to do this for nine years now. His building process usually starts in September or October.

He's also the president of the Willmore City Heritage Association, a nonprofit that works to preserve Long Beach's first designated historic district.

"I come here every night just to look at it and the amount of people that walk by ... those 'oohs and ahhs' are incredible," said Salgado.

There's a large village currently displayed at Modica's Deli in downtown Long Beach and a second, smaller version is located at the Bembridge House, a historic building near Drake Park.

Salgado was responsible for baking everything and Hulean Tyler built the foundation for this year's gingerbread village.

"This was made in the garage of my house and then we separated it into four pieces, five pieces, brought it here and put it back together in here," said Tyler.

Everything for the gingerbread village was built individually and it took two days to put it in the restaurant.

"We had icing on our chairs, on the floor, icing in our hair. It was absolutely crazy," said Orsa Modica, owner of Modica's Deli.

The gingerbread village at Modica's will be on display until the end of December.

"When you come down and see it for yourself, you will feel the magic," said Modica.

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