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Business Observer Thursday, Jul. 15, 2021 2 months ago

Legendary Tampa bakery expands — again

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Ybor City's La Segunda Cafe and Bakery is opening a new location in St. Petersburg, its third

La Segunda Bakery & Café, the classic Ybor City shop serving customers since Woodrow Wilson was president and a Boston Red Sox pitcher named Babe Ruth hit his first career home run, is opening in St. Petersburg.

Yes, the 106-year-old shop is finally making the 25.2 mile trek across the Howard Frankland Bridge to new digs. The location, at 2436 4th St. N., is scheduled to open late fall.

With it will come a host of menu-favorites that have kept Tampanians, tourists and residents of Pinellas County willing to make the drive happy and well-fed for over a century. That includes flan, guava and cheese pastries, Italian cookies, Cuban bread and, of course, Cuban sandwiches.

For the untutored, La Segunda’s fourth generation owner Copeland More asks that you don’t confuse the Cuban sandwich you are going to get at the St. Pete location with a Cuban sandwich from Miami.

He told the Business Observer in 2018 that “It’s a different culture. There’s Tampa Cubans and then there’s Miami Cubans — it’s a giant battle, constantly. They have Miami-style Cuban bread, and they don’t put salami on their sandwiches. People come to our bakery from Miami and they get very upset because our offerings are different. They say, ‘This isn’t a Cuban bakery,’ and we say, ‘We’re not a Cuban bakery; we’re an Ybor bakery.’”

The new La Segunda will be in the Holiday Plaza, a development near the University of South Florida’s St. Petersburg campus. It’s neighbors in the plaza will include health food restaurant chain Grain & Berry, Butcher’s Mark Fresh Meats and Marinades and Nothing Bundt Cakes, according to the center’s marketing materials.

La Segunda’s new location will be 1,820 square feet and have indoor seating for about 40 people. An outdoor patio will also seat about 40. It will focus on grab-and-go orders, delivery and catering. The Cuban bread and pastries will be baked on site.

Its decor will reflect the Ybor City heritage with iron accents, red brick accented walls and lighting fixtures modeled on Ybor’s streetlights.

La Segunda was founded in 1915 by Juan Moré, an immigrant from Spain who fought in the Spanish-American War in Cuba and brought with him traditional recipes for Cuban bread and pastries. According to La Segunda, it is the largest producer of Cuban bread in the world, baking 18,000 loaves a day. In 2018, it opened a location on Kennedy Boulevard just west of Dale Mabry.

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