The nearly 70-year-old bakery exudes Italian heritage with signature dishes such as the custard-and-strawberry-filled cassata cakes made from recipes passed down for generations. “I started when I was 14 years old,” says owner Frank Cheraso. “It takes a lot of dedication.” That devotion extends to Cheraso’s wife, Gail, and their sons, Michael and Anthony, who make up the core Baraona’s Bakery staff. The family keeps work at the bakery interesting and creative by making Italian treats such as pignoli cookies and Italian seeded cookies and creating new recipes such as their mermaid cupcakes, which boast fun, plastic fin decorations. “Sometimes we will all get together on a Sunday and make it fun,” says Cheraso. “We are always here.” 5580 Ridge Road, Parma, 440-886-4430, facebook.com/rudystrudel
Our Pick: Created by Cheraso and his father, the Italian Ribbon Cake ($16.99) looks like the Italian flag when sliced with layers of pistachio, vanilla and strawberry cake separated by raspberry buttercream filling and topped with chocolate whipped cream and toasted almonds.