La Segunda Central Bakery
La Segunda: A cornerstone in the history of Tampa
If you have ever purchased a Cuban sandwich in the Tampa Bay area, chances are the bread was freshly baked at La Segunda Bakery in Ybor City. For over a century, La Segunda has served the Tampa community an authentic taste of Cuban Bread. Today, the small bakery ships its bread as far away as Texas, New York, Boston, and Alaska.
While fighting in the Spanish-American war in Cuba, Juan More was introduced to the Cuban bread. It is believed that while on the island, More learned how to bake the bread. Subsequent to the war, More did not return to his native Country of Spain but instead moved to Tampa, where the thriving cigar industry was powered by Cuban, Spanish, and Italian immigrants.
After arriving in Ybor City, Juan joined a co-op of local bakers to open three bakeries in Ybor City: La Primera, La Segunda, and La Tercera. Short thereafter, because of financial difficulties two of the bakeries closed. Juan purchased La Segunda Bakery and became the sole owner. La Segunda initially catered mainly to cigar industry workers. Quickly, La Segunda built a respectable reputation within the community due to the rich and authentic flavor of the bread. El pan Cubano, became religiously consumed on a daily basis in the community, thus becoming an essential household item.
Every morning, La Segunda produces roughly 18,000 loaves of bread. While a substantial amount is sold at the Bakery, most of the bread is distributed to restaurants and cafes around Tampa and other cities in the United States.
A century later, La Segunda remains the top choice for Cuban bread in the Tampa Bay area. The iconic thin loaves, crispy exterior, and soft on the inside has become a symbol of Tampa’s history and culinary culture. Ana Sofia, in her book “The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History, labeled La Segunda’s bread as “Original”.
According to the current owner, Tony More, the Bakery’s success is due to the consistency of the baking process, “the only thing that has really changed over the years is the mixers”. The bakery maintains the same baking process crafted by Juan More in 1915 in order to ensure the iconic flavor.
La Segunda is a cornerstone in the rich history of Tampa. The small bakery located today on 15th Ave has gifted Tampa’s community a world-renowned mellifluous taste of Cuban bread for over 100 years.