After winning the “best bakery” category in University City Magazine's 2007 “Best of” issue, getting a “best desserts” nod in two other publications is just icing on the cake for Nona's Sweets.
Nona's Sweets is featured in the Charlotte Observer for April 1, 2007 edition. "Celebrate Family, Friends and Traditions," read the words painted above a photo display at Nona's Sweets.
Those words capture the spirit that motivates Jo-Ann "Nona" Morlando and her family.
"Money keeps the door open," says daughter Dominica Clementi, "but the joy we get is from baking every day and being friends with our customers."
This week before Easter is a particularly busy time at Nona's Sweets. The small shop on North Tryon Street is packed with scores of traditional holiday pastries, cookies and candies. A few items are imported from Italy, including chocolate Easter eggs and the Easter panettone.
They also offer pasticciotti -- little pies filled with ricotta custard. And sfogliatelle -- crunchy pastries with ricotta custard and orange bits inside. And cassata cake -- three layers of vanilla cake with a rum and sugar "wash" on the outside, custard or fruit inside, and covered with whipped icing and almonds.
There's nothing like lovin' from the oven to bring fond memories and one family knows that better than anyone. Nona's Sweets Bakers & Chocolatiers in the Terraces at University Place came out of a true Italian kitchen. 'Nonna' means grandmother in Italian and it was in her nonna's kitchen that owner Jo-Ann Morlando fell in love with baking. When the aroma spread demand went up so she and husband Nick opened the bakery. Now they share their joy with daughter Dominica Clementi.
Creative Loafing features Nona's Sweets in February 8 - 15 in 2006 edition on page 59. The article includes the following: Much has been made of the exodus of snowbelters to the greener golf courses (er, pastures) and cheaper rents of the sunny South. Charlotte is virtually overrun by (I mean, has welcomed) thousands of new residents from these colder climes. Many of those new residents bring with them some of the ethnicity and foodways this region missed during the past 150 years.
This brings us to Nona's Sweets: Dolci alla Nona. Bakers & Chocolatiers, an Italian bakery co-owned by Jo-Ann Morlando. (Nona is Italian for grandmother.)
Anyone who has spent time in Italy has been to a pasticceria. One of the Neapolitan treats you will find there is the sfogliatelle (sfo-lyah-TAY-lay). This shell-shaped pastry is traditionally made della nobilita, for the nobles. Morlando makes an outstanding sfogliatelle. Delicate folds of pastry dough form leaves that envelop a mixture of ricotta cheese, semolina and orange peel. Served warm, it tastes of Christmas morning and Sunday baptisms.
The baby shower cake that you made for me on Saturday was a big hit!! I wanted to take the time to thank you for your professionalism and consistency. I've ordered several cakes from you and I've never been disappointed. I wish your bakery continued success.
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