A Tampa Bay giant has stirred and is on the move. La Segunda Central Bakery, a family-owned Ybor City institution for nearly 103 years (they celebrate that birthday Jan. 15) and the largest producer of Cuban bread in the world, will open a second location in South Tampa in early summer of 2018.
The 3,000-square-foot bakery and cafe at the redeveloped 4001 W Kennedy Blvd. shopping plaza will offer seating for the first time, both indoors and outdoors, a barista coffee bar, to-go window and parking. Still, the showstopper will be the state-of-the-art exhibition hearth where customers can watch La Segunda bakers doing what they do: Forming 18,000 Cuban loaves daily, about 36 inches long, with a zipperlike seam topped with the remnants of a palmetto leaf (used during baking to hold the top of the bread together and create the signature crack along the top). You'll be able to watch them do other things, like make deviled crabs, chorizo rolls, empanadas and flan.
The new location will offer the same menu of breakfast and lunch favorites available at the flagship location (a seriously noteworthy Cuban sandwich), guava and cheese turnovers, quesitos, Italian cookies — for longtime Tampa fans, I don't need to perseverate.
"We're extremely excited for this expansion," said Copeland More, La Segunda's fourth-generation owner. "Our new bakery and café will bring a slice of Ybor City to South Tampa. As we open this additional location, we remain committed to our roots of baking history every single day."
The new location will seat 80 guests, with a 12-foot-long community table for up to 14 people that may be reserved for meetings. There will also be USB ports throughout the cafe. A fine 21st century addition, but really it's enough to have world-class Cuban bread in South Tampa.