After 67 years in business, La Victoria’s fate hangs in the balance. The 24th Street Mexican panaderia and its subtenants were served eviction papers by the building’s owners in July, after the building was listed for sale with a $3.4 million price tag.
The bakery is one of three commercial tenants in the building, which has three apartments on the second floor. Since eviction notices were given, tenants — including subtenants like sourdough baker Sour Flour, which leases space at the bakery — have attempted to obtain legacy status for the business, which was opened by Gabriel Maldonado in 1951.
The building is now owned by the Maldonado Family Trust; Gabriel Maldonado’s wife, Susana Maldonado, is the executor, though his son Jaime Maldonado has run and owned the bakery since the mid-90s.
Initially tenants were given an eviction timeline of “mid-August,” though the bakery did not announce an official closure. As a result, says Danny Gabriner of Sour Flour, many of the subtenants who leased commercial kitchen space from the 3,400-square-foot bakery moved their operations to more stable locations.
September will be the first month without income from those lost tenants. To support the bakery and keep its doors open as long as possible, longtime employee of La Victoria Laura Hernandez has launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $25,000. Hernandez has been running the business — paying rent, doing payroll, making repairs — since January through an operating agreement with Jaime Maldonado; she ultimately hopes to purchase the business. Hernandez wrote:
“One month ago, we received an eviction notice alerting us that the building is in the process of being sold, and that we had to stop working at the bakery. Some of our bakers have been proudly working here for almost 40 years with nowhere else to go. They love the work they do, the breads they bake, and the customers they serve. Like so many others who are threatened with evictions in this area, we are fighting to stay.
We will fight this eviction , but we need your help! We will fight to keep this legacy going! Do your part, any and every donation is appreciated.”
The ideal scenario, Gabriner says, would be for a local non-profit dedicated to preserving Latino culture in the Mission, Mission Economic Development Association (MEDA) to purchase the building, allowing all tenants to remain. His business, Sour Flour, is currently five years into a ten year lease with La Victoria.
“At this point, for us, it’s continuing to show that there’s support,” Gabriner told Eater SF. “We don’t know for sure how things will go but we’ll be here this week and the next and the next, until we find out things unfold legally. We’re here every day from 7:30 a.m.- 7:30 p.m.”
Stay tuned for more updates on the fate of the bakery.
- La Victoria Bakery Tenants Told to Clear Out [SF Examiner]
- Ensnared in family drama, La Victoria bakery hit with eviction notice [Mission Local]
- Help Support an Historic Bakery [GoFundMe]