It remains to be seen whether Cinderella Bakery's entre into the Mission is a Cinderella story.

Cinderella Bakery, which has been making Russian baked goods in San Francisco since the early ’50s, is in negotiations to purchase the building on 24th Street that was recently vacated by the famed panaderia La Victoria.

“The building is very attractive, and there aren’t very many mixed-use buildings” on the market, said Mike Fishman, the owner of Cinderella Bakery.

The structure at 2937 24th Street, which has three commercial spaces and three housing units, comes with a $3.4 million price tag.

If he were to purchase the building, Fishman said, his bakery would likely open its second location in the former La Victoria space. Right now, he runs a large retail and wholesale business out of Cinderella’s 1,600-square-foot location on Balboa in the Inner Richmond. 

But, “There are a lot of ifs,” he admitted, noting that the building needs plenty of maintenance work. “It’s a long bridge that we have to cross.”  

Fishman knows a thing or two about long bridges: He emigrated to San Francisco from the Soviet Union in 1988 and soon after took over Cinderella Bakery. In 2008, he and his wife, Marika, became the sole owners.

He said he will know within a month whether he’ll reach a deal.

The building was listed in March amid an internecine dispute within the family that originally opened the bakery on 24th Street in 1951. In July, the family evicted La Victoria’s operators and the bakery ultimately vacated in early October.

At a community meeting on Monday, Erick Arguello of the merchants association Calle 24, said he will work with community members to help La Victoria’s operators — Laura Hernandez and Danny Gabriner — to return to the space. At present, Hernandez and Gabriner have moved their operations to a production space on 3rd Street, which they will have for only the next three months.

“After three months, they will have nowhere to go,” Arguello said. “Then it’s gone.”

Arguello this week told the 40-odd people gathered in the former Casa Sanchez restaurant that he believed Cinderella was a little “high end” and more like a “Tartine-type of bakery,” the mention of which drew subtle jeers from the crowd.

Arguello said he would be pleased if the building’s potential new owners were to let La Victoria’s operators back into the space following a purchase. “I don’t think that’s what they’re going to do,” he said, soliciting support from community members.

He said his calls and emails to Fishman have gone unreturned, and Fishman did not mention a deal with Hernandez and Gabriner.

Arguello said applying some “pressure” on the new owner would be a possibility.

“If they want to be a part of this community,” he said, “they’ll really have to deal with this community.”

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Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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  1. Arguello is either very dishonest or stupid enough never to have been to the Cinderella. High end? No way. Home cooking via Mother Russia and a very local SF business. You don’t get more down to Earth than Balboa and the Avenues. Calle 24 needs to get over itself. Putting a locally owned Russian bakery in that space is a dream come true. This ain’t Tartine. It’s the Cinderella! The Mission is for everybody. There are plenty of Latin pastry places and pans dulce shops left in 24th, on 22nd, on Treat and on Mission. They aren’t very good anyway and La Victoria hasn’t been any good since the family started fighting 15-20 years ago. Sorry to be blunt. But a little treasury is necessary.

  2. Erick Arguello is off base with this. Cinderella’s prices are the same as all of the local burrito places. I’d love to have them in OUR neighborhood!

  3. When did we vote for Erick Arguello? Oh, that’s right. We didn’t. He does not represent the community.

  4. Cinderella would be nice addition to the street, esp if the La Victoria people return to the Dominguez Bakery storefront. win- win!

  5. High end, low end I don’t care. Just please move something into that empty space. Too many empty storefronts on lower 24th Street.

  6. If these immigrant bakers want to be part of our community they’ll need to lease their business space to our local bakers.

    Am I missing something or is that idiotic?

  7. Is this the 1860’s New York with Tammany Hall? I can’t believe that Arguello, Papadapolous, and the other MEDA people want to attach a bunch of conditions to everything? I’ve lived in the Mission for two years and I can’t believe that Ronen and all of us let this happen. Please stop!

    1. I’ve lived here 33 and I agree. They need to let the Mission be the Mission and pick their fights. La Raza gallery is a good fight. This is a stupid fight.

  8. Dominguez Bakery, right across the street from La Victoria, has been closed and unused since 2014. Why can’t Calle 24 focus on getting the La Victoria bakery folks to move in there instead of trying to prevent another business from moving in to the empty La Victoria space? Does Calle 24 have a relationship with the owners of the Dominguez Bakery?

  9. While I’m in no way in support of what happened to La Victoria, describing Cinderella as ‘high end’ is ridiculous; nowhere close to Tartine.

      1. Cinderella Bakery is certainly not high end — just the wrong ethnicity according to the nativist Arguello and the Calle 24 crowd.