Sure, it may be an Italian bakery with desserts such as cream-filled cannoli and puffed up sfogliatelle filling the cases. But at Fragapane Bakeries’ two locations — in Bay Village and North Olmsted — there’s room for all kinds of cultural confections. Customers can find German kuchen coffee cakes and jelly-filled Polish kolacky along with more American desserts, like colorful cutout cookies and decorated doughnuts. For manager Natasha Kaseman, that sense of Italian pride brought her back to the family business. “We’re definitely very old-school,” she says. Her grandfather and uncle opened Fragapane Bakeries in 1971, kick-starting a 47-year family legacy. At 12, Kaseman was bagging bread, and by 15, she was working the cash register. After college, she started working for a bank — but that was short-lived. “When the manager position became available here, I basically begged my dad to let me come back,” Kaseman says. Since 2012, she has overseen operations at both locations including the small market and a full deli at the North Olmsted spot, making it a popular lunch hangout for city workers, teachers and car salesmen who work nearby. “It’s such a nice feeling when [my family] comes into the bakery — the pride I see on their faces that it’s still flourishing,” she says. 626 Dover Center Road, Bay Village, 440-871-6340; 28625 Lorain Road, North Olmsted, 440-779-6050
Our Pick: Of course you can find traditional Italian wedding cake at Fragapane, but it also specializes in the Sicilian version, which employees call “true cassata” ($1.75 per slice) — layers of sponge cake with whipped cream and cannoli filling made with sweet ricotta cheese and chocolate chips.