Historic ‘La Segunda Central Bakery’ Influences Student's Career Aspirations

Olivia Galante is a public relations major at the University of Florida and an heir to her family’s award-winning, historic Cuban bakery. Galante’s life has always been surrounded by food and wine. Her father works as the president of a wine company, and her mother’s side of the family owns the historic Cuban bakery in Tampa, Florida: La Segunda Central Bakery, where she’s worked since she was 14.

La Segunda has been open since it was established in Tampa in 1915. Galante’s great-great-grandfather Juan Moré started the bakery. Moré was born in Spain - he fought in the Spanish-American War in Cuba where he discovered Cuban bread, according to La Segunda’s website.

Moré journeyed to Ybor City, Florida, where he brought Cuban bread over from Cuba, and established La Segunda Cuban Bakery.

“Our family might’ve been the first people to bring Cuban bread to Tampa at least,” Galante said.

Not only is her family known for being some of the first people to introduce Cuban bread to the United States, but Galante said her family receives awards for their historic bakery. La Segunda is well-known in the Tampa area, even among other restaurants.

“Any restaurant you go into in Tampa, the South Tampa area, it’ll say on their menu, ‘La Segunda bread sold here,’” Galante said, “It’s crazy.”

La Segunda’s Cuban bread is even sold in Gainesville, where it’s prepared with the Cuban subs at Larry’s Giant Subs on West University Ave.

Galante’s family is opening up La Segunda Café on 4001 W Kennedy Blvd this year. It’s the first expansion since their opening in 1915.

Galante’s passion for food and wine drew her to a hopeful career in the wine industry. Her father is the president of a wine company and worked in Germany for six years. She was inspired to work in the wine industry by her father.

“This summer, I’m probably going to intern in Napa Valley,” Galante said, “My dad knows a guy who’s like, ‘yeah, your daughter can come work on one of our wineries and be a hospitality girl there.’”

Despite Galante’s plans to work in either California, New York or Canada, La Segunda will remain a family-owned business in the years to come. Whether or not Galante is running the bakery alongside her career in the wine industry, her family plans to keep the business family-operated. Her great-uncle Anthony Albert Moré and his son Anthony Copeland Moré run the bakery today as the fourth-generation owners, according to La Segunda’s website.

La Segunda sells over 50 different kinds of Cuban pastries and 11 sandwiches. The award-winning bakery teams up with a local chef who makes empanadas, deviled crabs and meat pies to sell at their store.

“We try to partner up with local Cuban businesses,” Galante said.

La Segunda has been an important part of Galante’s life. She enjoys working there, despite the stress of lunch hour, because of the community of employees who love her unconditionally.

“There’s some characters," Galante said. "[But] that’s what I like about it."