Domenic Corbo is a baker’s son, so his recipe for the fourth-generation bakery’s success is simple: dedication. Consider that since the bakeshop opened on Kinsman Road in 1953, only three people have ever made a Corbo’s wedding cake. “Only one of them is alive and that’s my father,” says Corbo, of his dad, Joseph, “He’s the only one. He’s the master decorator.” Corbo’s lemon ice recipe? Only Joseph and his three sons know that one. That commitment extends to everything, even as the bakery has grown from cakes to breads, cookies and pastries to jars of pasta sauce. “Every cookie is a person,” says Corbo, the operations manager. “That’s how we treat it.” These days, the bakery has more than 60 employees with locations in Little Italy, Playhouse Square and even a pizza shop in Mayfield Heights. Still, the roster of cookies — butterballs, lemon cookies with figs and vanilla icing, chocolate drops, apricot cups — almond cookies with apricot filling — and more — are the same as they’ve been for 60 years. “Everything is scratch,” says Corbo. “Everything is the original recipes back from my great-grandparents. We’re all self-taught bakers.” 12210 Mayfield Road, Cleveland, 216-421-8181, corbosbakery.net
Our Pick: When comedian Tom Papa brought his Food Network show Baked to town in July, he spent 4 1/2 hours learning to make Corbo’s cassata cake ($5 per slice) from start to finish.