A duo that operated the now-closed Mission bakery La Victoria for its final year of operations has plans to resurrect the business, or at least some of its favorite sweets. Partners Danny Gabriner and Laura Hernandez will return to the Mission with breads and pan dulce, opening a new storefront at 3249 24th Street and adopting the new name Victoria SF.
Gabriner and Hernandez didn’t own La Victoria: They just leased the bakery space from the Maldonado family, who founded the bakery in 1951. A family trust owned the bakery’s building at 2937 24th Street, and when the family sold that building (to long-running Russian bakery and cafe Cinderella) longtime La Victoria operator Jaime Maldonado was forced to evict Gabriner and Hernandez. The duo moved operations to a production facility in Dogpatch and have continued wholesale operations ever since.
With the new storefront and consciously altered name, “all we’re doing is continuing the business as it has been,” says Danny Gabriner. The 3249 24th Street space, at the corner of Capp, will stock La Victoria classics like conchas alongside some breads from Gabriner’s sourdough brand, Sour Flour.
Jaime Maldonado, who ran La Victoria for more than a decade after his father retired, says he’s happy to see Gabriner and Hernandez open their new store, but emphasizes that the Maldonado family trust still owns La Victoria the bakery.
“They can do whatever they please,” says Maldonado. “I’m in good communication with Laura, and I’m glad she’s taking up the mantle. I have nothing against that. But she cannot use the name, and they know that — and I’m sure that they can find ways to operate with a different name.”
Gabriner says he’s not concerned about angering the Maldonado family or confusing customers. “We took over management over a year ago now, and we’ve never heard any complaints [from customers] on that front,” he says. “We’ve still got the same bakers using the same traditional recipes, and we’re just trying to improve the product that goes out to our customers.”
Meanwhile, “the Maldonado family don’t seem interested in doing anything related to the bakery, and that’s why they sold the building,” Gabriner asserts.
“I don’t know what will happen in the future, but we’re trying to keep things as drama free as possible.” The new storefront could open as soon as this month, he hopes.