Tonawanda News — here are lots of Italian cookies sold in the Niagara region, but Rosa Strangio said she could never find any like those she makes in her new bakery.
Strangio has lived in the area for about 20 years, but there were certain flavors and treats she missed from her hometown of Calabria, Italy.
Now, those cookies and desserts are available in her new bakery, Calabria’s, named after her home town and located near the Niagara Falls International Airport, at 10065 Niagara Falls Blvd.
“It’s something we’ve always talked about doing,” said Strangio about her new venture with her husband, Andrea, a bus driver for the Niagara-Wheatfield School District.
The urge to open a bakery has become stronger over the years for the mother of two, who explained that she was one of those people that, whenever she brought something she baked to a gathering, people would tell her she needed to open a bakery of her own.
She remembers taking an anniversary cake to a local Italian restaurant for a large family celebration and the staff came out of the kitchen to see the beautiful silver and black cake she’d had made, decorated with silver polka dots.
So dreams encouraged by friends and family came to life in March in a little cafe serving cakes, pastries and cookies.
Inside a colorful cookie case is a wide assortment of Italian cookies and pastries, including those she could not find in all the years she’s lived in the states.
There are fried and sugared twig-like cookies called nocatole, traditionally served at Christmas, a gluten-free almond cookie made with almond flour; there is also rotolo, a golden sponge cake stuffed with a whipped cream/ricotta mixture. The bakery also offers store-made Italian ice cream called gelatto and expresso. The store also sells bread from the Portage Bakery in Canada.