Vicky Press

Alex Santiango of Vicky Bakery On 5 Things You Need To Run A Highly Successful Family Business

Alex Santiango of Vicky Bakery On 5 Things You Need To Run A Highly Successful Family Business


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Can you tell us a bit about your family business and your role in it?

Vicky Bakery has been serving an array of Cuban delights from pastelitos to cakes, cafecitos, and sandwiches in Miami since 1972. The specialty pastries are made with a Cuban family recipe that has been passed down through generations. The founders, Antonio and Gelasia Cao, fell in love over 50 years ago while working at Cuba’s most renowned bakery at the time, La Vencedora. The couple married and migrated to Miami as political exiles, and soon had enough money saved up to buy a small bakery. Now, Vicky Bakery currently operates over two dozen locations across South Florida and is bullishly looking to expand across the state and beyond. I’m a co-CEO of the business.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?

After graduating from high school, I served in the military during Operation Desert Storm. While serving, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, and so I had to come back on hardship leave to take care of her. While I was taking care of my mother, Elizabeth Santiago (now my wife) and her family offered me a job at their Vicky Bakery store located by the Miami International Airport. There, Liz’s father, Antonio Cao, was both my boss and mentor, teaching me, a soldier with only military skills under my belt, how to make pastries. After more than a year, I got pretty good at it.

From 1995 we worked for Antonio and by 2000, we purchased a store from him. I started apprenticing under Antonio to learn everything from making desserts to administrative work. By 2005, we opened our second store, followed by a third in 2007. That same year, we licensed our brand and began producing items in a central kitchen for distribution, splitting responsibilities between the co-CEOs and my nephew.

By 2014, we consolidated into a commissary, moving from four separate kitchens. Then, in 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we took a significant step and licensed our brand to franchise. Our journey has been a blend of personal challenges and professional growth, all leading to where we are today.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

In 2005, we had just opened our store in Hialeah Gardens. Being a bit OCD and always prepared, I had everything meticulously planned for the opening, but a curveball came our way with our pastry chef resigning a week out. On top of that, training for our new team was in full swing, so I found myself wearing a lot of hats, including taking over pastry production and handling deliveries.

Every day, I’d wake up at 4 a.m., open the store, and work until 2–3 p.m. Since no one else knew how to do everything, I had to manage it all. One night, close to midnight, I was super tired but still had to load a day’s worth of production — 35 pans of guava pastelitos — onto the delivery truck. I was using the elevator, and in my exhaustion, I let go of the rack, which rolled off the elevator. I watched in horror as hours of work spilled onto the asphalt.

With Liz home taking care of our kids, she wasn’t available to help. I went home for just an hour of sleep before starting all over again. Those pastries were supposed to be for our West Hialeah store, and the whole incident felt like a disaster at the time.

The lesson I learned from this experience was the immense value of family and a strong support system. I realized how much harder it is to do everything by myself. Once our family came together, the support allowed our business to grow exponentially. For example, today I’m able to be in Philadelphia while our co-CEOs handle everything at home, thanks to having people we trust on the ground. Without that support system, Vicky Bakery wouldn’t be where it is today.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

A prime example would be a business we used to be close to called Rosa Bakery in Miami. While they were competitors, we remained well-connected to them thanks to Antonio’s friendly nature.This approach was the opposite of the military tactics I was accustomed to, which aim to destroy the enemy. Rosa Bakery did well, but was not a family business and had to eventually close since they did not have the proper support systems in place.

This serves as a poignant reminder that without family, our business, Vicky Bakery, wouldn’t exist. Our emphasis on family values are what truly make our company stand out.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

We are focusing on expanding our franchising efforts both statewide and nationwide. This includes constantly developing new products. Additionally, we are planning to open our first corporate-owned stores. Unlike our franchises or independently owned stores by family members, these corporate stores will be fully owned by Vicky Bakery.

By reaching a broader audience, we aim to bring the Vicky Bakery experience to more people, which in turn supports our philanthropic initiative, Vicky Cares. More stores mean a greater reach for our charitable efforts, allowing us to contribute more significantly to the communities we serve.

Furthermore, this expansion will create more job opportunities in local communities. We are committed to hiring based on merit. This focus on inclusivity and empowerment is a core value for us and helps build stronger, more diverse teams.

Overall, these projects will not only help us grow as a company but also enable us to make a positive impact through job creation, community support, and philanthropic initiatives.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. One person I am particularly grateful to is Antonio, who has been a significant influence and guiding figure in my life, both professionally and personally.

Although my parents raised me, Antonio truly polished me into who I am today. We met before I graduated from high school, and he has always been like a father figure to me. Antonio and his wife have managed to run a successful business together and have maintained a strong marriage, which has been incredibly inspiring.

Our staff was mostly late teens and early 20s, and while we often laughed and joked around, Antonio’s moments of passion were balanced by his sense of humor, patience, and love. He always made sure to include people with special needs in our team, emphasizing inclusivity and support.

Antonio’s influence has been invaluable. His blend of humor, patience, and firm guidance taught me the importance of maintaining a balance in leadership and life. Without his mentorship and the lessons he imparted, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I have strived to use my success to bring goodness to the world by emulating the qualities I admired in Antonio — providing clear direction, demonstrating patience, and being an advocate for my team. Antonio’s approach to leadership has always been a guiding light for me, and I have worked hard to incorporate those values into my own style.

In my role, I prioritize the needs and demands of my team, always making sure to vouch for them and support their growth. Problem-solving is a key part of this, and I aim to handle challenges in a way that seems effortless, ensuring a smooth day-to-day operation for everyone involved.

By maintaining the principles of patience, clear guidance, and team support, I hope to inspire young people to pursue their dreams with the same dedication and values. Our commitment to the community goes beyond the bakery itself. We support local initiatives and create job opportunities, fostering a positive impact on the neighborhoods we serve. By hiring based on merit and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace, we strive to empower individuals and contribute to a better, more equitable world.

In essence, my goal is to use the success of Vicky Bakery to create a nurturing environment where both our team and our community can thrive, following the example set by Antonio.

Ok thank you for that. Let’s now pivot to the main parts of our interview. How do you define a family business? How is a family business different from a regular business?

We’re very lucky to have Antonio and Gelasia as role models. They’ve really set the standard for what it takes to run a successful family business. There will always be challenges, especially with siblings and sisters- and brothers-in-law, and us spending the majority of our professional and personal time together, but ultimately, the beauty of it is that no matter what happens, you’re family and you have each others’ back. There’s an innate trust with each other that can be hard to develop otherwise.

In your opinion or experience, what are the unique advantages that family owned businesses have?

An advantage of running a family-owned bakery would be already knowing how everyone works. Since we all know each other on a personal level, there’s already a sense of familiarity and knowledge of everyone’s strengths. This is why we hand-pick every franchisee who joins the Vicky Bakery brand. It’s important that we can all operate as a family, where there’s trust and passion toward the common goal of sharing Cuban culture with others. This can get lost if operations remain at a surface, business level.

What are the unique drawbacks or blindspots that family owned businesses have?

I wouldn’t necessarily call it a drawback, but having the whole family working together every day can feel like a continuous family reunion. We’re constantly catching up because there are so many of us, which is vastly different from working with just coworkers. The silver lining is that our culture is deeply rooted in our values, and anyone who joins the team quickly becomes part of the family.

When working with family, maintaining professional boundaries can be challenging. Socializing and disagreements often come with layers of history, making interactions more personal and sometimes intense. However, the silver lining is that, no matter what happens, we know we will always have each other’s backs and support each other through thick and thin.

What are some of the common mistakes you have seen family businesses make? What would you recommend to avoid those errors?

One of the most common mistakes I’ve seen family businesses make is lacking collaboration and inclusivity in the decision-making process. For 16 years, I operated independently, with no one to collaborate with except my wife, Liz. Transitioning into a family business environment was challenging because I had to shift from an autonomous, almost dictatorial style, to a more democratic approach.

In family businesses, it’s crucial to consider everyone’s ideas. Those that fail often do so because they can’t manage to achieve buy-in from all involved parties. Just because an idea is good doesn’t mean it will be executed right away or even pursued at all. It’s vital to hear everyone out and ensure that all voices are considered. This collaborative approach fosters a sense of ownership and commitment among all family members.

What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders of family businesses to help their employees to thrive?

There are two types of employees in any organization: those who produce and those who lead. Transitioning from a producer to a leader is challenging, primarily because it requires recognizing and accepting that you need to depend on others for everyone to succeed. As a CEO, your role isn’t to produce; it’s to lead and guide. You need to create the right environment for your team to produce effectively. Your success hinges on the performance of those immediately below you. It’s impossible to achieve anything significant alone; teamwork is essential.

As the CEO of a company with almost 1,000 employees, my job is to inspire others to produce excellent results. The hardest challenge of my career was transitioning from working for myself and my wife to leading a full enterprise. I had to learn to depend on and trust others to succeed. My advice to other leaders is to focus on supporting your team, ensuring they have all the necessary tools to achieve your shared goals. At this level, you must understand that you can no longer do it alone.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean with a story or example?

To me, leadership is fundamentally about trust. A great leader must trust their team to do their jobs well. For example, I’m not an expert in marketing, so I rely heavily on our Head of Marketing, Samantha Sanchez. While I can provide guidelines on what I want to see, what the family wants to track, and how we define success, I know that I ultimately cannot do the marketing work myself. The intricacies of what the marketing team does day-to-day is completely out of my hands.

As a leader, you need to find the best people, give them the tools and support they need, and then step out of their way. You have to trust that they will perform their roles effectively. This trust allows them to thrive and take ownership of their work, which ultimately leads to the success of the entire organization.

Here is our main question. What are the “5 Things You Need To Run A Highly Successful Family Business”? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Surround yourself with good people you can trust. It’s fundamental for any business with more than one employee, especially if you’re looking to scale. It’s not just about delegating tasks, but about empowering your team to achieve their best, driving the organization forward as a cohesive and resilient unit. I learned this early on in the military.
  2. Patience is crucial because not everything will happen exactly the way you envision or on the timeline you prefer. As a leader, you must understand that success is often a gradual process that involves multiple steps, adjustments, and sometimes setbacks, but ultimately, slow and steady wins the race. I think a perfect example of this is how we took 50 years to perfect the Vicky Bakery brand.
  3. You need to instill grit and drive from the top down. By demonstrating unwavering dedication to routine tasks and responsibilities, it sets a strong example for the team, fostering a culture of resilience and motivation. This collective drive not only enhances productivity but also cultivates a strong work ethic and problem-solving skills among team members.
  4. Understand what can be changed and what cannot, and avoid losing sleep over factors beyond your control. I used to obsess over every detail, believing perfection was essential to progressing. However, I’ve learned that true wisdom lies in identifying impactful changes and continuously improving each day, focusing on what truly moves the needle forward.
  5. Remain innovative. The best way to do this is to embrace the next generation and their ideas. Foster an environment where creativity can thrive and fresh thinking is rewarded. This approach not only ensures adaptability and longevity but also cultivates a dynamic organizational culture that values forward-thinking and continuous improvement.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would be honored to have lunch with Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase. His leadership during challenging times, such as navigating international financial crises and steering Chase through the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrates a profound commitment to ethical business practices and strategic decision-making. Dimon’s ability to uphold Chase’s reputation while fostering innovation and growth in the financial sector is truly inspiring. A conversation with him would offer invaluable insights into effective leadership, resilience in the face of adversity, and the importance of maintaining integrity in the corporate world. Many of his pupils have gone off to launch their own successful companies.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If given the opportunity, I would focus on building communal spaces for kids, particularly public parks and recreational areas. Many children today lack access to safe outdoor environments where they can play and socialize away from digital screens. By sponsoring and funding these spaces, we can provide essential opportunities for physical activity, social interaction, and community engagement. This initiative would especially benefit underserved communities.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

Our Top 10 Croquetas in Miami

Our Top 10 Croquetas in Miami

(The Hungry Post x DoorDash)

Our official “croqueta duties” started on September 6, 2022. We had one month to find the best of the best croqueticas in Miami. We ventured off to those spots that have been on our radar and those recommended by you.


Neighborhood: Hialeah
Address:445 E 49th St
Cuisine: Cuban

We went to Hialeah where the air smells different. It smells like croqueticas. Just kidding but not really if you’re standing outside of the original Vicky Bakery. It smells like “fritura”, and that’s great news if you’re looking for crispy fried croqueticas. We feel like we are in the 80s when stepping into this iconic bakery. Since 1972, this family business has been baking pastelitos and more Cuban pastries with recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. Order the ham croquetas, they’re seasoned well, and crispy; and we love how you can taste the white pepper.

Preserving Tradition, Embracing Innovation: The Story of Vicky Bakery

Preserving Tradition, Embracing Innovation: The Story of Vicky Bakery

(The Entrepreneur Times)

Preserving Tradition, Embracing Innovation: The Story of Vicky Bakery, For over five decades, Vicky Bakery has been a beacon of Cuban culinary tradition, serving up a delectable array of pastries, sandwiches, and coffees to the vibrant community of Miami. What began as a humble bakery founded by Antonio and Gelasia Cao has blossomed into a beloved brand with over 25 locations across Florida, poised for further expansion and eager to share its rich heritage with the world.

A Legacy of Love and Dedication

The story of Vicky Bakery is one steeped in love, dedication, and the indomitable spirit of entrepreneurship. Antonio and Gelasia Caowho fell in love while working at Cuba’s famed La Vencedora bakery, embarked on a journey that would lead them from their homeland to Miami as political exiles. In 1972, armed with a passion for baking and a commitment to preserving their culinary heritage, the couple opened the doors to Vicky Bakery.

Family Values, Business Success

Central to Vicky Bakery’s enduring success has been its steadfast commitment to family values. As Antonio and Gelasia passed down their traditions and principles to subsequent generations, a culture of quality, customer service, and community engagement took root within the bakery’s walls. For the Vicky family, every employee and customer is treated like kin, fostering a sense of loyalty and trust that has been instrumental in the bakery’s longevity.

Preserving Tradition, Embracing Innovation

At the heart of Vicky Bakery’s offerings are its authentic Cuban recipes, lovingly passed down through generations. From the iconic pastelitos to the rich, aromatic cafecitos, each delicacy is a testament to the bakery’s unwavering commitment to tradition. Antonio Cao, Founder of Vicky Bakery, reflects on the enduring appeal of their traditional recipes, stating, “I started making pastries here the way I made them in Cuba, and they’ve been incredibly successful.”

Yet, even as Vicky Bakery honors its roots, it remains steadfastly attuned to the changing tastes and preferences of its customers.

A Recipe for Growth

The decision to expand Vicky Bakery to over 25 locations across Florida was driven by overwhelming demand from eager patrons and aspiring franchisees alike. Buoyed by the success of their inaugural venture in Orlando, the bakery has set its sights on further expansion, with new locations already open in Ave Maria and slated for Fort Myers.

Navigating the challenges of expansion has required a delicate balance between maintaining unwavering quality standards and exceeding customer expectations. Yet, with a commitment to consistency and excellence at its core, Vicky Bakery has emerged stronger than ever, poised to bring the flavors of Cuba to communities far and wide.

Community, Collaboration, and Connection

For Vicky Bakery, success is not just measured in sales figures, but in the relationships forged with the communities it serves. Deeply rooted in Miami for nearly five decades, the bakery remains dedicated to giving back, collaborating with charities, organizations, and causes that enrich the fabric of the city.

Nurturing Growth, Fostering Innovation

As Vicky Bakery evolves to meet the demands of a modern market, it continues to innovate and adapt. The bakery’s collaboration with Havana Club Rum on a delectable rum cake is just one example of its innovative approach to product development. By marrying the flavors of Cuba with the expertise of a renowned rum brand, Vicky Bakery has created a truly unique culinary experience that resonates with customers old and new.

In addition to its collaborations, the bakery has expanded its menu to cater to diverse tastes and dietary preferences. From savory sandwiches to decadent desserts, Vicky Bakery offers something for everyone, ensuring that no customer leaves unsatisfied. Moreover, the bakery’s presence on delivery apps and online platforms makes its offerings accessible to a broader audience, further cementing its position as a staple of the community.

A Commitment to Excellence

At the heart of Vicky Bakery’s success is its unwavering commitment to excellence. Every product, from the humble pastelito to the indulgent rum cake, is crafted with care and precision, using only the finest ingredients. Each step of the baking process is meticulously executed to ensure that the final result exceeds expectations.

Feedback from customers plays a crucial role in Vicky Bakery’s continuous improvement efforts. Whether through online reviews or face-to-face interactions, the bakery welcomes feedback from patrons and uses it to refine its offerings and services. By listening to the voices of its customers, Vicky Bakery ensures that every aspect of the customer experience is fine-tuned to perfection.

Navigating Family Dynamics

Working together as a family in a business setting presents its own unique set of challenges and advantages. For the Vicky family, navigating these dynamics requires patience, communication, and a shared commitment to the bakery’s success. While there may be disagreements and tensions at times, the bonds of family ultimately prevail, fostering a sense of trust and unity that is unmatched.

Indeed, the familial atmosphere at Vicky Bakery extends beyond its owners to encompass employees and customers alike. Each interaction is imbued with warmth and hospitality, creating a welcoming environment that keeps patrons coming back time and time again. It is this sense of kinship that sets Vicky Bakery apart from its competitors, ensuring that every visit feels like coming home.

Looking to the Future

As Vicky Bakery looks to the future, the Vicky family is filled with optimism and excitement for what lies ahead. With plans to expand beyond Florida and share the flavors of Cuba with a wider audience, the bakery’s journey is far from over. With each new location and every new customer, Vicky Bakery continues to write its own story of success, one filled with passion, dedication, and the enduring bonds of family.

In closing, Vicky Bakery stands as a testament to the power of tradition, innovation, and family. From its humble beginnings in Miami to its ambitious plans for the future, the bakery has remained true to its roots while embracing the opportunities of the present. As it embarks on the next chapter of its journey, Vicky Bakery invites everyone to join in the celebration of Cuban culture and cuisine, one delicious bite at a time.

Vicky Bakery Expands Pastelito Empire to East Pembroke Pines

Vicky Bakery Expands Pastelito Empire to East Pembroke Pines

(Miami New Times)

One of Miami’s most well-known and family-owned Cuban bakeries, Vicky Bakery, now has 25 locations across South Florida, with two locations opening this year — and their story is just as sweet as their pastelitos.

The latest opening will be in East Pembroke Pines on Friday, May 31.

Vicky Bakery was founded by Antonio and Gelasia Cao who met in Cuba while working at Cuba’s most renowned bakery at the time, La Vencedora. They soon immigrated to Miami for the opportunity of a better life. By 1972, they saved enough money to open a small bakery in Hialeah — and the rest is history. Over the last 50 years, the small bakery has turned into one of Miami’s beloved pastelito empires. Despite its success, it’s important to note it all started as a family business, and even through franchising, the brand aims to remain a family business. This is why they selected family-oriented people like the Myers family to honor its legacy as franchisees.

“After ten years, the Myers family is adding an East Pines Vicky Bakery location to their West Pines one,” says Alex Santiago, CEO of Vicky Bakery. “It’s an honor to witness the continuation of our family tradition of passing down the torch, so to speak, and expanding Vicky Bakery’s reach and goal of sharing authentic and traditional recipes in South Florida and beyond.”

While growing up, siblings Michele and Michael Myer lived a block away from Vicky Bakery, and their grandmother would take them to get a pastelito every morning before school. Their uncle opened the family’s first franchise in West Pembroke Pines, and during busy holidays, the entire family would help out, including the siblings. While Michele helped with customer service, Michael would be in the kitchen with his father baking the pastries.

With the success of the West Pines location, the siblings decided to open the family’s second franchise in East Pines.”Our uncle opened that location about ten years ago, more or less, and it just blew up,” recalls Michele. “We noticed that there’s nothing like Vicky Bakery in East Pembroke Pines and we want to continue growing in our community.”

Michele and Michael say the brand’s story aligned with their own family values so the decision to open the franchise and work around family was natural. “We are a really close-knit family, so what better way to be together than to work together,” says Michael. “With the new store, when people come in, they can expect a warm family welcome, a smile, and good products.”

Vicky Bakery continues to expand, and this year, the brand plans to open five additional stores, including in Miami’s Little River area, the Health District, Sunrise, and Fort Myers.


Vicky Bakery East Pembroke Pines8509 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines; 954-589-1788; Open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

What to eat at Vicky Bakery in Ave Maria

What to eat at Vicky Bakery in Ave Maria

Croquetas, cakes, Cuban sandwiches

Croquetas, cakes, Cuban sandwiches

(Naples Daily News)

Phong Ho, owner of Ave Maria’s terrific Oasis the Kitchen Lounge and the neighborhood’s Tropical Smoothie Café, recently debuted Vicky Bakery. His eateries are conveniently located on the same road and seconds from each other.

Now a franchise, Vicky Bakery was originally founded in 1972 by Antonio and Gelasia Cao as a mom-and-pop shop for Cuban pastries and other treats in Hialeah. The company now has 26 Florida locations, mostly on the other side of the state.

What to know: Very limited seating inside and out; carry-out is your best option, though several shaded benches align the quaint business circle. The line to order was quite busy last Friday afternoon.

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

(5076 Annunciation Circle, Ave Maria; 239-658-5171;

Conectados con Daisy - Mes de la Mujer

Conectados con Daisy - Mes de la Mujer

Vicky Bakery in Hialeah: Where Every Customer Feels Like Family

Vicky Bakery in Hialeah: Where Every Customer Feels Like Family


(WSFL TV, Inside South Florida)

In a world where exceptional customer service is increasingly rare, Odalys Ortiz stands out as a shining example of dedication, passion, and genuine care. At Vicky Bakery, every customer is treated like family, thanks to employees like Odalys who go above and beyond to make their experience memorable.

Orlando Weekly x Vicky Bakery: The tastiest Orlando food news this week

Orlando Weekly x Vicky Bakery: The tastiest Orlando food news this week


Vicky Bakery, another Miami-based mainstay offering everything from Cuban pastelitos and croquetas to medianoches and café con leche, has opened at 4556 S. Semoran Blvd. near Pershing Ave. Dulce de leche Napoleon, here I come!

Que sweet it is: Vicky Bakery opens in Orlando

Que sweet it is: Vicky Bakery opens in Orlando

(WKMG News 6 Click Orlando)

A popular Cuban bakery from South Florida will open its first location in Orlando. Vicky Bakery on Friday is opening its 25th location in Florida, in Orlando’s South Semoran neighborhood.

Popular Miami bakery is expanding including two new Central Florida locations

Popular Miami bakery is expanding including two new Central Florida locations

(WFTV 9)

ORLANDO, Fla. — Vicky Bakery, a family-owned bakery with more than 20 locations in South Florida is expanding across the state including two new locations in Central Florida.

In 1972 owners Anontio and Gelasia Cao met and fell in love while working at a cafe in Cuba.

After migrating to Miami they would go on to open the first Vicky Bakery.

“I started making pastries here the way I made them in Cuba, and they’ve been incredibly successful,” Antonio said. “To this day, we haven’t changed the recipe, and to this day it continues to be one of the better pastries that my clients say they have eaten.”

Vicky Bakery has remained a family business, Antonio and Gelasia’s children have expanded the bakery’s reach to 23 different locations in South Florida, with plans to continue expanding.

The new Orlando locations will be 4556 S Semoran Boulevard and 1455 West Fairbanks Avenue in Winter Park, where you will discover everything from cakes to cafecitos, to sandwiches and pastelitos.

Vicky Bakery Debuts in Boca

Vicky Bakery Debuts in Boca

(Boca Mag)

Since its 1972 grand opening in South Florida, Vicky Bakery has been the epicenter for all things Cuban. Warm airy bread, sweet flaky pastelitos, tender croquetas, potent coffee, hearty sandwiches—you can find all the classics and so much more at Vicky Bakery. Its first Boca Raton outpost has opened off Lyons Road between Yamato and Glades. The franchised location is owned and operated by Boca resident Yamile Hernandez. It opens at 6:30 a.m. for breakfast.

Behind the bite of “Vicky Bakery”

Behind the bite of “Vicky Bakery”

(NBC 6)

Is “Pastelito Day” a thing in Miami?

Is “Pastelito Day” a thing in Miami?


Yes! Pastelitos, that Cuban baked pastries filled with meat or sweet like queso crema (cream cheese), guayaba (guava) and cheese, or coconut, have become mainstream in Miami culture; and now they will have an official day to recognize “the significance of pastelitos within the community.”

On Monday, October 9, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levina Cava will be a participant at an event where she will officially proclaim October 9th as Pastelito Day in Miami-Dade County.

The Pastelito Day celebration will take place at the Vicky Bakery FIU location (11200 SW 8th St, Miami) starting at 10:30 a.m., and include live music, light bites by Vicky Bakery and a demonstration of “the art of crafting Vicky Bakery’s traditional pastelitos from scratch.”

Oye! It's Pastelito Day In The 3-0-5

Oye! It's Pastelito Day In The 3-0-5


Today calls for a sweet treat…it’s Pastelito Day in Miami-Dade County.

The Mayor will be making the proclamation at the FIU location of Vicky Bakery this morning. Pastelitos are pastries, that are baked or fried, (popular ones include: Cuban, Argentinian, Colombian) which are often filled with guava and cheese, or coconut, pineapple or just cheese, or just guava. You also opt for a salty variety: meat, chicken or ham & cheese…the possibilities are ENDLESS! Enjoy (son deliciosos!)

Authentic Cuban Bakery - Vicky Bakery to Debut in Orlando area with two new locations

Authentic Cuban Bakery - Vicky Bakery to Debut in Orlando area with two new locations

ORLANDO, FLA. (Gotta Go Orlando) – A family-owned business that’s been serving up pastelitos in Miami since 1972 are making their way North to Orlando!

Vicky Bakery is a Miami institution, a popular Cuban bakery and cafe with over 20 locations across South Florida, will soon be baking up a storm here in Orlando, with their specialty Cuban pastries that are made with a family recipe that has been passed down from abuelito to abuelo.

Vicky Bakery Orlando

The new Orlando locations will be 4556 S Semoran Boulevard, and 1455 West Fairbanks Avenue in Winter Park, where you will discover everything from cakes to cafecitos, to sandwiches and pastelitos.

Vicky Bakery is hoping to have the new Orlando locations up and running at some point this Summer.

 Vicky Bakery Orlando

For 50 years, Vicky Bakery’s Cuban roots and steadfast commitment to tradition have allowed the brand to stand out against the competition, passing along the love, time, and traditions that went into making pastries originally in 1972.

Vicky Bakery Orlando
Discover the family behind Vicky Bakery

Antonio and Gelasia Cao fell in love over 50 years ago while working at Cuba’s most renowned bakery at the time, La Vencedora.

The couple married and migrated to Miami as political exiles, and soon had enough money saved up to buy a small bakery in Hialeah.

Vicky Bakery Orlando

In 1972, Antonio and Gelasia opened Vicky Bakery. “I started making pastries here the way I made them in Cuba, and they’ve been incredibly successful,” Antonio said. “To this day, we haven’t changed the recipe, and to this day it continues to be one of the better pastries that my clients say they have eaten.”

Vicky Bakery Orlando

Vicky Bakery has remained a family business, Antonio and Gelasia’s children have expanded the bakery’s reach to over 20 different locations in South Florida, with plans to continue expanding.
Vicky Bakery Orlando

Vicky Bakery’s Biggest Growth Spurt Yet is Years in the Making

Vicky Bakery’s Biggest Growth Spurt Yet is Years in the Making

(QSR Magazine) – The legacy operation continues to lead with a quality-first approach.

Vicky Bakery food on a light background.
Vicky Bakery averages between $15-$30 in ticket size and 5 to 7 minutes in throughput time.

Alex Santiago walked into the Vicky Bakery business 30 years ago because he fell in love with his wife, Elizabeth, the youngest daughter of Cuban founders Antonio and Gelasia Cao.

Admittedly, he didn’t understand the company’s special nature at first, but he quickly came to realize just how much the neighborhood concept is part of South Florida’s culture. The learning process was as personal as it gets. Going back through baby pictures, he discovered the cake at his christening and baptism was from Vicky Bakery.

“I was born in 1975. This company’s been around since 1972, and it’s been doing amazing products ever since,” Santiago says. “Because I married the youngest daughter, I was the last one to come into the family. I’m still the rookie. Ive only been here 28 years. Im still in awe by all the knowledge and just the things that the family does.”

Vicky’s board of directors includes six members of the family: Santiago and Elizabeth; Pedro and Amy Cao; and Fernando and Carmen Oramas. Santiago serves as CEO while Elizabeth oversees human resources and account management. Pedro is in charge of business development, Amy is on top of the marketing department, and Fernando and Carmen run training and operations.

Santiago rose to CEO because of his military background, where he learned many of his management and discipline skills. And he knows his role. The restaurateur isn’t as talented at engineering cakes as his some of his family members, so he’s taken it upon himself to bring what Vicky Bakery has done for the past five decades and create a bridge to the next generation. And a big part of that is selecting the right franchisees to grow with.

Founders: Antonio and Gelasia Cao

Headquarters: Miami

Year Started: 1972

Annual Sales: Roughly $42 million systemwide

Total Units: 20

“The American dream is that ability to start from nothing, pick yourself up by your bootstraps, and make something in your lifetime,” Santiago says. “And that’s what my in-laws did. It’s a sense of pride to be able to say that through franchising we are finding partners and investors that can go out there and take our concept because of the way it’s been set up. Its become, in our limited experience, a very profitable business for those that decide to sign up with us.”

The growth will be meticulous. Vicky Bakery doesn’t want to open 100 stores, or even 50. It started 2022 with 17 locations and hopes to end next year with roughly 35. Currently, all of the concept’s locations are along Florida’s Southeast Coast, from Homestead to Boca Raton. More units are scheduled for Palm Beach, Orlando, and Southwest Florida. Santiago also mentioned that Vicky Bakery has been in talks with operators in Texas and Georgia.

The brand began with one store in 1972, which was actually Antonio and Gelasia’s third try, with the first two attempts burning down. The second outlet didn’t open until 1984 and the third came in the early 1990s as Santiago entered the business. Point being, Vicky Bakery thinks very deeply about growth before proceeding. The ongoing expansion phase, while the biggest in company history, is still 14 years in the making.

When the chain opened two units in 2008, the family saw how difficult it was to duplicate scratch baking. So instead of having four production facilities and eight locations, the group worked on placing all production into one venue. They purchased a distressed property at a good price during the economic downturn and built it up over the years. Now, Vicky Bakery is in the process of purchasing another 16,000-square-foot facility to support further growth.

Technically speaking, Santiago’s niece became the first franchisee in the latter half of 2021. The brand sold its first store to the public at the start of this year.

“That’s how long it took to get here,” Santiago says. “I dont want you to think that this is something that we just created overnight.”

The sweet spot for Vicky Bakery is 2,500 square feet, but it’s dipped to as low as 1,700 square feet and bumped to as high as 3,000-,3,500 square feet. The chain prefers neighborhood positioning that’s easily accessible for morning, afternoon, and evening dayparts. Before the chain fully rolled out its franchising program, it made sure to create a store flow that allowed for as many tickets as possible per hour.

Vicky Bakery averages between $15-$30 in ticket size and 5 to 7 minutes in throughput time. Santiago says the company comes from a tradition of quick pickup; there’s tables in bakeries now, but that’s a relatively new feature.

“We feel we’ve developed what is a good system, but we’re constantly looking at the data, looking at numbers,” Santiago says. “We’re very data-centric when it comes to the efficiencies of our system, so it doesn’t mean that we’re not going to continue to tweak it. We also listen to our partners when they have suggestions—what is working, what isn’t working.”

As for Santiago’s desire to reach the next generation, Vicky Bakery has a presence on the campus of Florida International University and the University of Miami. The company is working to open a unit at St. Thomas University, as well. The CEO says the footprint not only introduces Vicky Bakery to younger customers, but it also attracts transplants from all over the country.

“We’re very family-friendly,” Santiago says. “So parents bring their kids all the time, grandparents bring their grandchildren all the time. We’re very active on social media as well. Our philanthropy allows us to reach out across generations and do things with other people, not to mention the familys so big that we have 21 kids that are out there. Through their social media and their social webs, that’s how we’re trying to outreach to the next generation.”

In addition to franchises, the family will continue to open locations because the passion still remains. When describing Vicky’s legacy, Santiago remembers from 2008 when a woman walked in, practically fell to her knees, and began crying. He and his wife expressed concern, and the woman eventually told them her mother passed away a few years earlier and that she had just lost her dad. The wave of smells and the look of the store reminded her of childhood.

That’s how hard the nostalgia hits. Vicky Bakery only wants to create more of those cherished memories.

“It was sad, but at the same time there was a moment of us being able to say we’re really part of the fabric of something here,” Santiago says. “We are into people’s lives in a way that there’s really no other business that can say that except food—where everybody eats, everybody gets involved, everybody has a favorite restaurant, bakery. And what we see with the bakery is while you might go to one or two restaurants a week, we become a real tradition.”

Vicky Bakery Brings Traditional, Handcrafted Cuban Pastries to Coral Springs Community

Vicky Bakery Brings Traditional, Handcrafted Cuban Pastries to Coral Springs Community

Vicky Bakery Brings Traditional, Handcrafted Cuban Pastries to Coral Springs Community

CORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (Coral Springs Talk) – Vicky Bakery, a South Florida institution since 1972, has officially opened its newest location in Coral Springs.

The family-owned Cuban bakery has been serving traditional, handcrafted pastries, sandwiches, desserts, and coffee to the community for 50 years, and its newest location, located at 2528 N. University Drive in the Royal University Plaza, is no exception.

Co-owners Alicio Pina, Nosbely Toledo, and Nosdiel Silva have been deeply involved with Vicky Bakery for years and now own and operate seven Vicky Bakeries across South Florida. They saw a need for their world-famous pastelitos, croquetas, and café in Coral Springs and are thrilled to finally be open and serving the community.

“Our formula is simple…create high quality, handcrafted, traditional Cuban pastries, sandwiches, desserts, and coffee prepared fresh daily,” said Pina. “We knew there was a need for our world-famous pastelitos, croquetas, and café in Coral Springs, and we’re so excited to finally be open and serving the community.”

For 50 years, Vicky Bakery’s Cuban roots and steadfast commitment to tradition have allowed the brand to stand out against the competition, passing along the love, time, and traditions that went into making pastries originally in 1972.

Today, that set of core values, along with its belief in quality, variety, convenience, and experience, still determines its direction and has kept the brand on solid footing.

“Our menu is timeless. It’s classic for a reason,” said Silva. “We don’t change the recipes because there is something so authentic, so pure about our food. Once you bite into a croqueta or pastelito, you can immediately imagine what life must have been like in Cuba before communism took hold on the island.”

Vicky Bakery began with a vision in 1972 by founders Antonio and Gelasia Cao, who decided to open a bakery and make pastries the way they first learned in Cuba.

With one foot anchored in tradition and the other firmly planted in the future, Vicky Bakery has grown to nearly 20 locations across South Florida, with new bakeries set to open in Palm Beach, Orlando, and Southwest Florida, in addition to other markets, soon.

“Our growth has always been calculated and strategic,” said Alex Santiago, CEO of Vicky Bakery. “We’re currently under construction in additional markets across South Florida, and we’re still looking at additional growth in Palm Beach County, Orlando, Collier County, and up the state through next year. Vicky Bakery is committed to bringing traditional, handcrafted Cuban pastries and sandwiches to even more communities across Florida.”

Vicky Bakery Welcomes Prospects To Coral Springs Location

Vicky Bakery Welcomes Prospects To Coral Springs Location

CORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (Coral Springs Talk) – It’s a dream crumb true for Vicky Bakery fans after opening its 20th franchise in Coral Springs on Wednesday.

Known for its delicious sandwiches, croquettes, and Cuban Pastelitos, a homemade pastry recipe passed down for generations.

The Coral Springs location continues this tradition at its newest location at 2528 N University Dr, Coral Springs, FL 33065, in the Royal University Plaza.

Founded in Miami in 1972, the bakery has since become a beloved destination for locals and tourists across the state. With plenty of indoor seating and a clean, modern ambiance, Vicky Bakery is the perfect spot to grab a quick bite or enjoy a meal with friends and family.

The bakery is open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday through Saturday and 7:00 am to 3:00 pm on Sunday.

Now Open: Vicky Bakery Welcomes Customers to Coral Springs Location

Now Open: Vicky Bakery Welcomes Customers to Coral Springs Location

Now Open: Vicky Bakery Welcomes Customers to Coral Springs Location

Now Open: Vicky Bakery Welcomes Customers to Coral Springs Location

Now Open: Vicky Bakery Welcomes Customers to Coral Springs Location

Now Open: Vicky Bakery Welcomes Customers to Coral Springs Location

Follow Vicky Bakery online, and stop by to try one of their world-renowned Guava Pastelitos.

Guide to the best Miami gifts for the holidays

Guide to the best Miami gifts for the holidays

(Timeout) – 1. Vicky Bakery Havana Club Rum Cake

In perhaps the most heavenly of matrimonies this holiday season, Miami’s beloved Vicky Bakery has joined hands with Cuba’s original Havana Club rum to create holy perfection in cake form. The OG chain of family-run Cuban bakeries is producing a limited-edition Havana Club riff on its iconic, 50-years-strong rum cake recipe. Find the moist and boozy standard eight-inch cake across Vicky’s South Florida locations while supplies last. $35.99; serves 8–1…

Vicky Bakery Brings Croquetas, Cafecitos, and Pastelitos to Coral Springs

Vicky Bakery Brings Croquetas, Cafecitos, and Pastelitos to Coral Springs

CORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (Tap Into Coral Springs) – Only a year ago, I was waxing poetic about the opening of Don Pan, a bakery chain from Miami serving Cuban, Venezuelan, Colombian, and Argentine specialties. Finally, Coral Springs was getting some of the finer things in life.

Soon after, however, I was corrected by my Foodies Who Review South Florida members that while Don Pan was from Miami, it was not by any means the most pre-eminent Latin bakery chain. No, that distinction belonged to Vicky Bakery, which opened its first store in Hialeah in 1972. It was not long after Versailles, the legendary Calle Ocho Cuban restaurant (whose founder, Felipe Valls, passed away recently) also opened its doors and Miami’s first ventanita coffee counter in nearby Little Havana.

Since purchasing the first Vicky Bakery store (they kept the original name) 50 years ago, the family of founders Antonio and Gelasia Cao have opened 19 Vicky Bakery locations. These feature Cuban favorites such as croquetas (breaded and fried two-bite logs of bechamel mixed with finely ground ham, chicken, or cheese), pressed grilled sandwiches, Cuban-style coffee drinks, and of course, a multitude of baked goods to choose from, including the guava paste and cheese-filled pastelitos made with puff pastry that many patrons take home by the box.

The brand new Coral Springs store, located in Royal University Plaza shopping center and over a year in the making, is the furthest north of Miami and will mark the 19th location (a soon-to-open store in Boca Raton will be the 20th). It’s also a franchise managed by the young and energetic pastry chef and Culinary Institute of America graduate, Olivia Agrenot, who also manages the Fort Lauderdale store on Las Olas.

I arrived with my hungry wife on the opening day during lunchtime, so we went for the heavy stuff – the croquetas. We tried the ham, chicken, and cheese, all of which are made in Vicky Bakery’s central commissary in Miami – three of them would be a nice-sized snack for any one person. While a bit on the starchy side and are not of the “gourmet” type that local Miami food bloggers crave, these are some of the best mass-produced varieties I’ve sampled and differ from those bought in bulk by most Cuban cafes in South Florida.

Vicky Bakery has quite a few sandwiches, including the classic sandwich cubano. I ordered the cantimpalo, unique to Vicky, with Spanish chorizo sausage and serrano ham, manchego cheese on crusty French bread, and panini pressed. I had that one with lettuce, tomato, and mustard.

We also ordered the croqueta preparada, which is a monster and is easily shared – this is a jumbo-sized sandwich of pulled pork and ham croquetas. You’d better really be hungry if you get one of these.

Of course, there’s the bakery – filled with cakes of all types. We took home some of the Rum Cake, a pound cake soaked with Bacardi’s Havana Club and covered with royal icing, which is decadent. We also brought back a slice of their chocolate cake and flan cheesecake, both of which demanded to be washed down with strong coffee. Of course, Vicky can serve you some of that as a cortadito or a cafe con leche (short and robust, or long with milk) or, if you dare and are inclined to share, as colada — about four shots of straight espresso with a strong helping of sugar, from their Italian FAEMA Prestige machine.

Is The Perfect Rum Cake For The Holidays At Vicky Bakery With Havana Club Rum?

Is The Perfect Rum Cake For The Holidays At Vicky Bakery With Havana Club Rum?

(Thirsty) – Folks in South Florida and from Caribbean families around the world know, tis the season for RUM CAKE!

For this holiday season, a very special collaboration might have just created the best Cuban Rum Cake in Miami. Vicky Bakery has partnered with Havana Club Rum to produce a very special and limited-edition rum cake to celebrate the season – the Vicky Bakery Havana Club Rum Cake. The beloved family-owned Cuban Vicky Bakery and the real Havana Club Rum, forced from home and aged in exile, but forever Cuban, have come together to create something magical and unique for South Florida this holiday season.  For 50 years, Vicky Bakery has produced its annual rum cake to the delight of families across the region and the 2022 edition with Havana Club Rum might be the very best version yet!  Fair warning, get yours now, because there is no doubt these will sell out this holiday season.

The Vicky Bakery Havana Club Rum Cake will be available while supplies last across participating Vicky Bakery locations throughout Miami-Dade and Broward County. The standard eight-inch cake comes in a custom Vicky Bakery and Havana Club Rum box and serves approximately 8 to 10 people. Pricing begins at $35.99.

“When you think about the holidays in South Florida, rum cake is just a part of it,” said Giovanny Gutierrez, Havana Club Rum brand ambassador. “Generations have grown up with it during the holidays all the way back to Cuba and across the Caribbean. Now with our Vicky Bakery partnership, we get to create something new, totally irresistible, delicious, and fun. We can’t wait to eat this cake at holiday get-togethers and family gatherings.”

The Vicky Bakery Havana Club Rum Cake will be available while supplies last across participating Vicky Bakery locations throughout Miami-Dade and Broward County. The standard eight-inch cake comes in a custom Vicky Bakery and Havana Club Rum box and serves approximately 8 to 10 people. Pricing begins at $35.99.


To stay up to date on all things holiday with Havana Club Rum and Cuban Culture in the South Florida area, follow Giovanny Gutierrez at @chatchowtv

Havana Club Rum is based on the original recipe created by the Arechabala family in Cuba in 1934. The recipe was personally transcribed by Ramon Arechabala and given to Bacardi as part of the agreement between the two family companies. In 1995, with the Arechabalas’ agreement, Bacardi re-launched Havana Club Rum in the United States. It is distilled and crafted in Puerto Rico. The Havana Club Rum brand is part of the portfolio of Bacardi Limited, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited. For more information, visit

Vicky Bakery’s 20th Location Opens Soon in Coral Springs

Vicky Bakery’s 20th Location Opens Soon in Coral Springs

CORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (Coral Springs Talk) – Vicky Bakery’s 20th Location Opens Soon in Coral Springs

Crispy ham croquettes, delectable Cuban sandwiches, and life-changing guava pastelitos can soon be found in Coral Springs at the new Vicky Bakery location opening in October 2022.

With 19 South Florida locations and counting, the new bakery will be number 20, and the northernmost Vicky franchise located at 2528 N University Dr, Coral Springs, FL 33065, in the Royal University Plaza next to The Walk.

The restaurant is fast casual with a family atmosphere. Their simple formula: create high-quality, handcrafted, traditional Cuban cuisine prepared fresh daily.

Their story began over 50 years ago in Cuba, where Antonio and Gelasia Cao met while working at a bakery called La Vencedora. Once married, the couple migrated to Miami as political exiles and, like many immigrants, were forced to hustle, working multiple jobs to make ends meet.

A few years later, Antonio and Gelasia had saved up some money to purchase their own bakery in Miami. Customers instantly loved the food. However, unforeseen hardship struck when their first location burned down. No strangers to adversity, the family hustled to put together the money to open a new store which, in a twist of fate, also tragically
burned down.

“My family are bootstrapped entrepreneurs; we thrive in adversity,” said Alex Santiago, CEO of Vicky Bakery.

In 1972 the stars would finally align where co-founders Antonio and Gelasia opened the first Vicky Bakery location in Hialeah, realizing the American dream and having exploded in success ever since.

In 1992, the family’s youngest daughter, who was managing the shop’s front end, would run into Alex Santiago, fresh out of the military, who would join the family and eventually take the CEO role.

“I am inspired every day by the story of my parents; we love what we do and run this business as a family,” said Santiago.

With franchises in FAU, UM, FIU, Fort Lauderdale, soon-to-be Coral Springs, and possibly Orlando, Vicky Bakery now employs over 500 people.

“They have delicious Cuban sandwiches, and their croquettes are top-notch. I mean, I’m Cuban; of course, this is what I love to have for breakfast. I come here at least twice a week, and I’ve never had a problem with any of my orders. Keep it up, Vicky!” said Yunis C. in a 5-star customer review on Yelp.

Most dishes are made with five or fewer ingredients, made simple yet elegant, mirroring how traditional Cuban food has been made for centuries.

The bakery is open to pre-orders and catering and also runs Vicky Cares, where the restaurant donates food and money to local charities and organizations in need. The future looks bright for Vicky Bakery, which is excellent news for Coral Springs and pastry lovers.

New Restaurants to Try This Week: Gekkō, Patio Bar & Pizza, and Vicky Bakery

New Restaurants to Try This Week: Gekkō, Patio Bar & Pizza, and Vicky Bakery

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (Miami New Times) – Vicky Bakery has opened in Fort Lauderdale.

Vicky Bakery, one of South Florida’s original family-owned Cuban bakeries, has opened in downtown Fort Lauderdale on Las Olas Boulevard. Operating since 1972, the new location is located across from Huizenga Plaza and offers fans of the family’s fare a chance to find pastelitos and croquetas further north. The authentic Cuban pastries are crafted fresh daily by a team of bakers and chefs who prepare an extensive variety of bread, pastries, desserts, breakfast items, sandwiches, cakes, and coffee. Daily 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

4 W. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

Vicky Bakery Opens New Shop in Fort Lauderdale

Vicky Bakery Opens New Shop in Fort Lauderdale

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (Lifestyle Media Group). The family-owned Cuban bakery opened in South Florida in 1972

Vicky Bakery recently opened its newest location in Downtown Fort Lauderdale across from Huizenga Plaza at 4 West Las Olas Blvd.

“We live and breathe South Florida and have called this our home for a very long time,” Alico Pina says, co-owner of Vicky Bakery Las Olas. “We know the people in and around downtown Fort Lauderdale are going to absolutely love our world-famous pastelitos, croquetas, café, and other amazing and authentic Cuban bakery items. Created in our own kitchens every day, our bakers and chefs prepare an extensive variety of breads, pastries, desserts, breakfast items, sandwiches, cakes, coffee and more so we have something to satisfy every appetite, whether it’s a sweet indulgence or even a loaf of our healthier, vegan Cuban bread.”

Pina and her business partners Nosbely Toledo and Nosdiel Silva have been active brand ambassadors of Vicky Bakery even before signing the rights to develop the Las Olas location. The business partners own six Vicky Bakeries in total, including locations in Davie, Miramar, Florida International University’s (FIU) North Campus, FIU South Campus, University of Miami and the new downtown Fort Lauderdale site. The entrepreneurs have a seventh Vicky Bakery under construction in Coral Springs that they plan to open by the end of the year.

“When we opened our first location in Miramar in 2016, we could have never imagined our success today as multi-unit operators of Vicky Bakery,” Toledo says, co-owner of Vicky Bakery Las Olas. “It’s really a testament to the incredible menu but also to the systems and procedures that Vicky Bakery has established over 50 years in business. That kind of tradition and operational experience has proven invaluable as we continue to grow, opening Las Olas and Coral Springs later this year. Developing Downtown Fort Lauderdale was an easy decision because we knew people can’t resist our specialty Cuban pastries made with secret family recipes passed down from abuelito to abuelo and now on to our generation.”

Vicky Bakery began with a vision in 1972 by founders Antonio and Gelasia Cao, who decided to open a bakery and make pastries the way they first learned in Cuba. Its Cuban roots and belief in quality, variety, convenience and experience have helped the brand expand throughout Florida. It has grown to nearly 20 locations across South Florida, with new bakeries soon opening in Palm Beach, Orlando and southwest Florida, among other markets.

“There is something timeless and classic about our menu. To this day, we haven’t changed the recipes because our customers, no matter which location they visit, always tell us it’s the best they’ve ever eaten,” Nosdiel Silva says, co-owner of Vicky Bakery. “Everyone can relate to our menu because there is authenticity behind it. Once you bite into our crunchy and pillowy pastelito, you are automatically transported back to the original La Vencadora bakery in Havana, Cuba, where Antonio and Gelasia, our founders, first fell in love and learned to bake before fleeing communism’s grip on the island. We’re absolutely thrilled to be open in Downtown Fort Lauderdale and introduce the community to Vicky Bakery.”

The new Vicky Bakery in Downtown Fort Lauderdale is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. To learn more about Vicky Bakery, visit

Now open: New Vicky Bakery in Fort Lauderdale, plus Foxtail Coffee arrives in Boca

Now open: New Vicky Bakery in Fort Lauderdale, plus Foxtail Coffee arrives in Boca

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (Sun Sentinel) – Vicky Bakery has opened a location in downtown Fort Lauderdale, on Las Olas Boulevard across from Huizenga Plaza at the base of the Andrews Avenue drawbridge.

This Miami-based brand now has a bakery in downtown Fort Lauderdale, on Las Olas Boulevard at the base of the Andrews Avenue drawbridge and across from Huizenga Plaza. The new location is one of six Vicky Bakery franchises owned by SoFlo entrepreneurs Alicio Piña, Nosbely Toledo and Nosdiel Silva. The hours are 7 a.m. to

7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays at 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. The trio have plans for a seventh Vicky Bakery to open in Coral Springs in a few months. According to Alejandro “Alex” Santiago, the CEO of the brand, Vicky Bakery is marking its 50th anniversary with ambitious expansion plans northward that include additional franchises in Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach by January and February 2023. 4 W. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-314-7727;

Vicky Bakery owner and employees deliver pastelitos to Hialeah firefighters

Vicky Bakery owner and employees deliver pastelitos to Hialeah firefighters

HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) – The owner of Vicky Bakery wanted to make sure firefighters and officers in Hialeah had a great start to their Thursday morning by donating several treats and pastelitos.

Pedro Cao, along with several employees of his bakery dropped off the Cuban pastries to the Hialeah Fire Station #1, located at 93 East Fifth Street, on Thursday morning.

“We’re here giving thanks to all the first responders from the Vicky family for all they do, leaving their houses every day to protect all of us. Thank you,” said Pedro Cao, the owner of Vicky Bakery.

“The Vicky bakery family has been in this city for over 40 years, and in good times and bad they are always there to help the community,” said Hialeah Fire Rescue spokesperson David Rodriguez. “It’s not just us, it’s the community always helping out the community in times of need, and it just makes us happy.”

The crew enjoyed pastelitos, sandwiches and Cuban pastries to start their day.

Vicky Bakery Will Ship Pastelitos to Your Valentine

Vicky Bakery Will Ship Pastelitos to Your Valentine

MIAMI, FLA. (Miami New Times) Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and your sweetie is in another city. The traditional way to show your love is to order some flowers or maybe a box of chocolates. But there’s a much better (and more Miami) way to show you care: Send them a box of a dozen pastelitos.

Vicky Bakery has just launched nationwide shipping of its pastelitos throughout the contiguous 48 states.

Customers can order pastelitos in three flavors — guayaba, queso, and guayaba and queso — by the dozen or two dozen. Boxes come in a choice of one flavor or an assortment of all three. Orders can be placed online at

Pastelitos will arrive frozen on dry ice within 48 hours of ordering. Each shipment will come with instructions on how to bake them. This guarantees your beloved will have nothing but warm thoughts of you when the scent of freshly baked pastries wafts through their home.

The pastelitos start at $19.99 for a box of one dozen, and shipping costs vary based on location. Shipping ranges from $10 to $50, with a two-box minimum.

Vicky Bakery’s Pedro Cao says the idea of shipping the pastelitos came about after longtime customers who moved from the Miami area began requesting the bakery’s treats. “Our fans extend way beyond Miami, and nationwide shipping was our solution to loyal customers who don’t live close to our stores.” Cao says he’s happy to share a taste of Miami with people who may not be able to travel here. “We are excited to be able to take a piece of what we’ve grown up with and offer it into homes across the nation.”

The bakery, which started as a little pastelito shop in 1972, has grown to 15 locations offering Cuban pastries made with family recipes straight from Cuba. The bakery has also kept up with the times by introducing a vegan version of Cuban bread made without the traditional lard.

For now, only pastelitos are available for long-distance shipping, but if your true love lives in South Florida, the bakery can make a special holiday platter of pastelitos and croquetas for a very Miami Valentine’s celebration.

Vicky Bakery plans national expansion

Vicky Bakery plans national expansion


Miami, FL (South Florida Business Journal)

Pastelitos and cafecitos could break into new markets through Medley-based Cuban bakery
chain Vicky Bakery.

Founded nearly 50 years ago, Vicky Bakery kept its 15-store footprint contained to just Miami-
Dade and Broward counties. Now, co-owners Pedro Cao, Fernando Oramas and Alex

Santiago aim to open 50 locations of the family-owned brand across the U.S. over the next five years, the Business Journal has learned.
Cao, who helped found the company along with his father in 1972, said some of the new
locations will be company-owned, but the biggest batch will open through licensing partnerships.
He said the chain already has between 150 and 200 interested potential licensees.

The brand has grown mostly through licensing agreements over the last 10 years, with a majority
of its locations in the last decade opening through outside partners. Santiago said the company
purposefully slowed its expansion as they built up manufacturing capabilities at the warehouse in
Medley, just west of Hialeah.

They are currently in the process of developing a training program for new locations, which
stalled the company’s growth plans until now, he said.

“We quickly reached the point where the three of us can’t handle it all,” Santiago said. “To be
able to achieve the standards that we uphold to, we needed help.”

Once the training program is in place, the next step would be national shipping and distribution.
He said shipping could be ready to launch early next year. Frozen versions of iconic Vicky Bakery
products will be available for purchase online for consumers to reheat at home.

Vicky Bakery’s online expansion will allow the company to see where physical store locations in
other markets in the U.S. could do well. One such market that the company already plans to
break into is North Carolina, where Oramas will move to and help facilitate new openings there.
Oramas said he expects to open the first Vicky Bakery outside of Florida in 2020 or 2021.

Part of the company’s plan for success in new markets is an updated store design. The company
partnered with a new design team to create a more modern, updated Vicky Bakery look, Santiago

“We’ve locked in that 80-year-old Cuban demographic,” he joked. “Now we’re trying to bring in
and be accessible to my daughters.”

The company doesn’t plan to remodel already-established locations, as those perform well with
the “old school” aesthetic, Cao said. However, all new stores will carry the updated design.
South Florida won’t miss out on the beloved brand’s expansion. There are plans to open new
Vicky bakeries in Palmetto Bay, Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale, Cao said.

Santiago likened Vicky Bakery’s expansion path to a game of the board game Risk.
“We started on this peninsula, and we’re going to work our way up until we take over all of North
America,” he joked.

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