Our great grandfather, Salvatore LaRosa would toast each new day with that expression (meaning literally “a hundred years”) of aspiration and excitement as he consumed his hardy workman’s breakfast of a raw egg with espresso. Like his father before him, Salvatore was a baker in Palermo, Sicily. Putting in long hours as a baker required hard work and dedication to a dream. A part of the dream was realized in 1901 when, at the age of 29, he came to America and began selling cannoli for two cents a piece from a push cart on Elizabeth Street in Manhattan. In 1918 our great grandfather, Salvatore, sensing a new opportunity, moved his family to South Beach Staten Island to further the dream. For the next 42 years, our growing family worked side-by-side to build a steady following.
In 1960 our family split up and our grandfather Frank, and father, Salvatore Frank, took over the Port Richmond store that the family had opened. The new name was Frank LaRosa Pastry Shop. This is where the fifth generation, my brother and I, began learning the craft. As young boys, helping our father in the early mornings, we had to stand on milk crates. Our father always said that a good baker comes out of the sink and that’s the way we learned the business, from the bottom up. Becoming accomplished bakers under the guidance of our father until 1990 when he passed away and left us his black book (recipe book) and the legacy to continue in our family’s footsteps. Over the years the baking industry changed and qualified bakers were becoming harder to find. We recognized the needs of small bakeries and pastry shops to have a good cannoli to sell in their stores. So, in 1983 we started to wholesale and distribute our famous cannoli made from our great grandfather Salvatore LaRosa’s original recipe and turned it into a national business. In the ensuing 25 years, we have accomplished our goal of getting everyone across America to enjoy a good cannoli and today our cannolis are known from coast to coast and from Canada to Florida.
Today we are bringing our cannoli into a new century with the addition of our ice cream cannoli, a traditional cannoli filled with creamy vanilla ice cream that children of all ages can enjoy. The wholesale business accounts for a significant portion of our company’s business, but we stick closely to our retail roots and still operate a full line retail bakery that offers the traditional favorites and many new ones. At this point, we wish to extend our thanks to all of our loyal customers and a hearty welcome to all our new ones.