La Victoria Bakery, one of San Francisco’s favorite spots for pan dulce, is having the grand opening of its new retail and production facility at 1565 Kirkwood Ave. in Bayview today from 1 to 6 p.m.
Bakers and partners Laura Hernandez and Danny Gabriner, who acquired the 71-year-old business in 2018 from the Maldonado family, are excited to bring the famous variety of traditional treats to the city’s southeast, where they have had their production space since 2019.
After a tempestuous eviction from the bakery’s original 24th Street spot, and some time at a commissary kitchen, they say it’s a relief to have production and retail space on Kirkwood. They will also remain at their storefront at Capp and 24th streets. As of today, they will be open to the public for shopping Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We want La Victoria to thrive,” said Gabriner, who also runs the bakery Sour Flour out of the location. “In our new space, there’s room to grow.”
At today’s grand opening, there will be music and activities for the public, “so people can see how pan dulce is made.
“It’s basically an open house — there will be plenty of drinks and pan dulce, and Sour Flour will have some bread and pizza.”
Hernandez, La Victoria’s primary owner, is originally from Querétaro, Mexico, and started working for the bakery in 2007, sugaring and packaging the famous pan dulce. Now, she does it all: Driving the delivery truck around the city, managing employees and being a mother to the couple’s new baby.
“There’s many times she’s basically run the whole production,” said Gabriner, who helps out where he can.
Gabriner, who grew up in the city, remembers going to La Victoria as a kid. “My favorite was the sprinkle cookies,” he said. Now, he gets to enjoy them anytime he wants.
Their pan dulce has been the same for decades, a consistency that La Victoria customers love. One of the original bakers, Raoul Vasquez, has been tasked with preparing the specialty goods for today’s event.
“He’s been with La Victoria for 50 years,” said Gabriner. “He does the ojo de buey, campechanas, empanadas, conchas and nubes.”
The couple has been able to maintain steady business for the bakery, holding onto the 20-odd wholesale accounts that include Mission sites Casa Latina, Casa Guadalupe and El Paro, the Tenderloin’s Amigos Market, Fishtail Market and Mi Reyna Market and several places in Daly City.
The Fishman family, who owns the Russian bakery Cinderella, bought La Victoria in 2018 and was planning to set up shop, but that never transpired. Gabriner said he noticed the original La Victoria bakery site at 24th and Alabama streets was up for lease, and talked to the new owners about it, but they’ve marked up the property considerably — and removed the space’s commercial oven.
So they’ve settled in to La Victoria’s Kirkwood location, which is right off Bayview’s main drag, Third Street. Today, they’ll have all the favorites: Conchas, polvorones and empanadas, which come in cream, pineapple and apple flavors.
Attend today’s grand opening of La Victoria’s new retail space at 1565 Kirkwood Ave. from 1 to 6 p.m. and get your pan dulce in Bayview Mondays through Saturdays.