Two months after closing shop, the former operating staff of La Victoria Bakery is set to return to 24th Street under a new, yet familiar, name. The erstwhile operators of the old bakery will open a retail location at 3249 24th St. called “Victoria SF,” and plan to host a formal debut within weeks.
This was a big leap, said Victoria SF co-owner Danny Gabriner, but he eventually found the location at 24th and Capp, a former corner store, to be perfect.
“I was initially worried. It’s a big thing to move, but I really think it’s perfect,” Gabriner said. “It’s pretty ideal, being one block from the BART, and there’s more foot traffic.”
According to Gabriner’s business partner, Laura Hernandez, a co-owner of Victoria SF, the new company was registered shortly after the staff moved out of La Victoria at 24th and Alabama streets. Although she currently employs 15 people, only two employees run the new retail location. Full retail operations won’t start until the permitting process is finalized, which Gabriner hoped could come by the end of the month.
Hernandez and Gabriner were evicted in October by Jaime Maldonado, the son of the 67-year old bakery’s founder and its longtime former proprietor. He did this against his will, he told Mission Local — but was bound to abide by the wishes of his family’s trust, which had opted to sell the building at 24th and Alabama that housed La Victoria and several other establishments.
The building was purchased by Mike Fishman, the owner of Cinderella Bakery. This move sparked calls for a boycott of the Russian bakery by a consortium of Mission community activists. Messages for Fishman were not returned. Calls to various community activists demanding a boycott were also not returned; it is unclear whether this development will alter calls for a boycott of Cinderella.
Whether the new store will ever take on the familiar name “La Victoria” remains to be seen. According to Maldonado, that name is still registered and managed by his family trust, which handled all business affairs for La Victoria until its demise in October of 2018.
“They can do whatever they want, but no one has approached us to use the name, and there is no agreement,” he said.
Licensed under the name “Victoria SF,” the new bakery will still sell pan dulce and coffee, but will not bake any bread in-house. Rather, fresh bread will be driven in from a baking facility in the Dogpatch. They might even sell sandwiches.
The doors may open for pick-ups by Friday, Hernandez said, in time for the Dia de Roscas celebrations on Jan. 6.