Pamela Panian is a new business owner of Cannoli Corleone from Riverbank. She does not have a storefront as of yet, but she has an old recipe and a tasty product. Panian specializes in made from scratch cannoli. A cannoli is a dessert consisting of a deep-fried shell filled with a whipped gourmet cream cheese, and homemade ricotta filling. She also makes some with one end being filled with an old fashioned lemon tart, chocolate drizzle on top, chocolate chips on the ends, and sometimes raspberry.
On the menu are 4-inch large cannoli for $3 apiece or a dozen for $29. Small ones that are 2 inches can be purchased three for $5 or $2 each or a dozen small ones for $17.
Panian has always loved baking and recalls baking at a young age with her mother. After spending 16 years as a nanny in Los Angeles, Panian decided to move back to the area and pursue her dreams. She recently found out that her great grandpa was a baker as well.
She started out working at a supermarket bakery, then found herself working at area farmers markets for a bakery in Manteca. She realized that she had a lot of fun doing the markets and selling baked goods. Then she found herself at a local bakery closer to where she resides and continued to work several farmers markets in Northern California. There were some challenges that she faced working at the local bakery and it was no longer a fit for her.
The farmers markets, she said, are a better route for her now, as they allow her to get her product out to the public and she gets a chance to hear their feedback. She has sold out of her cannoli at several farmers markets that she has participated in. Panian expressed that she is very social and really likes talking to people.
The opportunity to start up her own business hit her one day when she was running errands. Her mother works for a restaurant in Ceres and has been there for several years. So Panian asked the owner of the restaurant if she would ever consider leasing out the kitchen. The owner agreed to do so and Panian saw a light that directed her to try her hand at her own business.
“I am having fun. I love it,” said Panian of starting up the new business. “I am very passionate about it.”
She got the recipe for her cannoli from her grandmother’s recipe box and found out that the recipe was originally passed down to her grandmother from her best friend whose family was from Sicily. The best friend gave the recipe to Panian’s grandmother years ago and now the recipe is being shared with the Central Valley.
Her first event was for the Riverbank High School Boosters Club in November 2012. Several people from the booster’s event came up to her and gave her rave reviews, she said. She received eight other offers at that event to bring the product to additional locations. After doing a few farmers markets and selling out of her cannoli, she realized that this was what she was destined to do.
Panian also does special orders for baby showers, bridal showers, birthdays, and several other events. She will also deliver within a 30-mile radius.
“I’m just following my dreams and I’m doing what feels right. I am excited about it and I feel like this is the beginning. I’m just taking it all in,” said Panian.
Currently you can find Cannoli Corleone at farmers markets in the area, like Oakdale, Riverbank, Escalon, Lodi, Tracy and Stockton. If you can’t make it out to the markets she will accept orders through email, Facebook and by phone.
Orders are accepted online on Facebook under Cannoli Corleone, by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (209) 300-2763.