Ave Maria


Grand Opening of First Vicky Bakery in Southwest is May 17

Vicky Bakery franchisee owner, Ohong Ho, with staff

Vicky Bakery franchisee owner, Phong Ho, with staff showing a variety of pastries available at the Ave Maria store.

(Ave Maria, Florida) – May 13, 2024 – The iconic Miami-based Cuban bakery, Vicky Bakery, has opened its first Southwest Florida location in Ave Maria, a master-planned community located east of Naples in Collier County. The Ave Maria Vicky Bakery is located at 5076 Annunciation Circle #102 Ave Maria, FL  34142. A grand opening celebration will be held on May 17, 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Festivities will begin with an official ribbon cutting, followed by a live DJ, free samples, and a photo booth, among other activities. The new Ave location is open Monday through Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sundays, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

According to the franchise owner, Phong Ho, business at Vicky is brisk already. The owner of two other Ave eateries, Tropical Smoothie Café and OASIS The Kitchen Lounge, Ho knew the bakery would be a hit in the community. He was searching for a breakfast concept to add to his portfolio and had many of his fellow Ave residents mention Vicky.

“When I began the search for a breakfast franchise, friends and neighbors kept mentioning Vicky,” he said, explaining that a meeting at the company’s Miami headquarters with the family owners sealed the deal.

Vicky Bakery barista making freshly made Cuban coffee with cream.

Vicky Bakery barista makes freshly brewed Cuban coffee with cream.

“When I talked to the family, bringing Vicky to Ave made sense,” he added. “They wanted to make sure I was committed, and the product is great. When I did my homework, I realized how many fans they have. One resident said to me, ‘I would die for a Vicky at Ave.’”

Vicky Bakery, a family-owned Cuban pastry shop founded in Miami in 1972, has more than 25 locations throughout Florida. Ho hopes to expand their popularity throughout Southwest Florida. He also plans to offer a robust catering business, delivering baked goods to schools, local businesses, clubhouses, events, and surrounding communities.

Ho adds that food is at the heart of the Ave Maria experience. “Having more options is important to people who live here.”

Alex Santiago, CEO of Vicky Bakery, shares Ho’s excitement about the growth of the popular Cuban bakery. “We select our franchisees carefully in order to maintain the family brand and culture that has remained a part of Vicky since its founding,” he said. “We are excited to support Phong as he introduces Vicky to the residents of Ave Maria and the entire Southwest Florida community.”


About Ave Maria

Ave Maria has been named a Top 20 Master Planned Community in the United States, 2015-2023 Community of the Year, the Top Selling Single-Family Home Community in Southwest Florida, a Blue Zones Certified Community, and its active adult community, Del Webb Naples, has been named a Top 20 Places to Retire. Located in southwest Florida, Ave Maria is a self-sustaining town including shopping and dining, employment opportunities, parks and recreation, and is zoned for all A-rated Collier County public schools.  At its build out, the town will include up to 11,000 residences, and 1.8 million square feet of retail, office, and business park uses in its 5,000 acres.  Ave Maria is located at the intersection of Oil Well and Camp Keais Roads in Eastern Collier County.  The main entrance, on Oil Well just west of Camp Keais, leads to the Town Center. Take I-75, exit 111, follow the signs east to Ave Maria, approximately 25 minutes. For more information, please visit  https://www.avemaria.com/ or call 239-352-3903.

The Vicky Bakery Story

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.

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 has remained a family business, Antonio and Gelasia’s children have expanded the bakery’s reach to locations throughout Florida, with plans to continue expanding.

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