Mother-Daughter Restaurant Team Expand To Swan’s Market

Family entrepreneurs upgrade to new brick-and-mortar storefront.
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Reyna Maldonado and her mother Ofelia Barajas announced that they will be moving their beloved restaurant, La Guerrera’s Kitchen, to a new location in Swan’s Market.

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The self-titled “Maize Warriors” revealed to press recently that they have put in plans to relocate from their current Old Oakland address to a brand new location in Swan’s Market, taking over the lease from the now-shuttered Cosecha Café.

Barajas, who grew up in Guerrero, Mexico, began selling her signature tamales in a street cart after emigrating to San Francisco with her daughter Reyna in 1996. Before long the tamales were a big hit, successfully capturing the authentic Guerrero flavor profiles that couldn’t be found anywhere else in the Mission District. Despite the popularity of her tamales though, Barajas found herself priced out of the increasingly gentrified district and often came into conflict with the police, prompting a relocation to the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland.

One of the earliest successes to emerge from the La Cucina Incubator program, Reyna applied right after graduating from college and took classes on finance and management, using her experience to grow her mother’s business into a full brick-and-mortar restaurant.

Now, over two years after starting their first brick-and-mortar store, the family entrepreneurs are preparing their biggest expansion yet. Taking over the space from Cosecha Café, their move to Swan market represents a powerful symbol of stability to Barajas, who stated, “Going from street vending to having a brick and mortar means having a team, feeling safe to be an entrepreneur here in this country.” 

The new location will feature an even bigger kitchen their previous building, enabling Reyna and Ofelia to expand their menu with brand new dishes that reflect traditional family recipes. Their current Old Oakland location is still open for business at 468 8th Street, but will be slowly phased out as La Guerrera’s Kitchen prepares to transition to Swan’s Market this fall.

Jake Rogers

Jake Rogers is an author and playwright based out of Brooklyn, New York. A lively performer who is deeply passionate about history and literature, outside of his reporting he also produces short films and plays with his theatre troupe, the LSTC. He is currently producing a web series about a butterfly and moth who are roommates that will be released later in the year.
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