June 28, 2022

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Flavors aplenty at Holy Cannoli in downtown San Jose

Editor’s Observe: The Biz Defeat is a sequence highlighting local small companies and dining establishments in Silicon Valley. Know a small business you’d like to see showcased? Let us know at [email protected]

The name “Holy Cannoli” is much more than apt for a cafe and bakery in downtown San Jose: the eatery’s cream is as mild as a cloud in Heaven. The slender, crisp shell presents the dessert some crunch, but the ethereal cream is a miracle of sweetness with a clean rich texture.

With two sizes, 9 flavors and 18 toppings, you could have a diverse cannoli variation practically each and every day of the year. And when you have operate out of cannoli variations to try, there are nevertheless fresh-baked pastries and an array of breakfast and lunch options on the menu.

“My grandmothers have been each home bakers and my dad was a chef,” claimed proprietor Jamie Whitmire, who launched Holy Cannoli in 2013. “I grew up cooking with them and I went to culinary university, in portion, since I by now knew I was a excellent prepare dinner and I realized how to pair flavors collectively. But I desired to find out the fundamentals of cooking and baking and knife techniques.”

Owner Jamie Whitmire at Holy Cannoli with her signature desserts. Picture by Robert Eliason.

Soon after graduating from culinary college, she started catering and functioning a foods truck, still her main enterprise. She opened her storefront in 2021.

“I opened at the height of the pandemic,” Whitmire said. “That turned out, surprisingly, to be a fantastic time. At any other time, a cafe and bakery would not have gotten a lot of publicity simply for opening—and folks had been quite supportive.”

Worker Genesys Skye piping cannoli. Picture by Robert Eliason.

With a customer foundation built through her catering enterprise, and a area just a block from San Jose City Hall at 138 E. Santa Clara St., Whitmire has a ready discussion board for her various competencies.

“I get in touch with myself a chef and a baker,” she explained. “It is a ability set that not anyone has, but I enjoy undertaking both. I have a sweet/savory flavor profile so the two go hand in hand for me.”

Her cannoli recipe arrives from the Italian aspect of her relatives, with her very own present day twists. The product starts off with a base of mascarpone, combined with ricotta cheese, cinnamon and powdered sugar.

“The freshness of the product by itself will make you want to appear back again for a lot more,” explained Toni Saldivar, neighborhood baker and owner of The Sugar Desk. “And the distinctive toppings like pistachios and coconut give you a good deal of alternatives.”

People alternatives start out with the selection of lotions, all based mostly on the standard basic cream, like fruit-flavored, chocolate, Nutella and pistachio. The product is piped into shells that are handmade day by day and then the finishes of the cannoli are dipped in a extensive wide variety of toppings which include toasted nuts, milk or white chocolate chips, new raspberry or strawberry, candied orange or lemon, toffee and even espresso beans.

“I preserve acquiring men and women telling me that what I make are not real cannoli,” Whitmire reported.  “But I preferred to be imaginative and make them a specialty product that nobody else was undertaking in the area. So I stepped out of the box to create all these unique flavors. I also have the overall flexibility to generate flavors folks may possibly want to unique buy.”

Holy Cannoli! Photo by Robert Eliason.
A dozen cannolis from Holy Cannoli. Photograph by Robert Eliason.

While cannoli are the noticeable concentration of the store, Holy Cannoli is a complete-menu cafe as very well. Whitmire provides a breakfast menu along with assorted pastries and a lunch menu that involves selfmade ravioli, sandwiches built with refreshing-baked focaccia, calzones and salads.

Nonetheless, the cannoli is the massive attract, particularly to regular consumers like San Jose resident Colm Cunning who has been coming given that opening working day.

“My spouse and I observed they ended up opening and we are equally addicted to cannoli, so we stopped by,” he told San José Highlight. “Everyone listed here is welcoming and the cannoli are brilliant. I just experienced a panini for the to start with time and it was truly superior as well.”

Customer Colm Crafty at Holy Cannoli. Picture by Robert Eliason.

Cunning’s favorites are the common cannoli and the chocolate with toffee topping.

“I can go through six of the minis or two of the regulars,” he reported. “I would explain to individuals they have to look at this area out if they are in any way, form or sort fascinated in cannoli.”

For Whitmire, though she finds new strategies of serving cannoli, she is also respectful of the traditions she acquired from her grandmother.

“There is a specific nostalgia to getting a cannoli when you are from Boston or New York or Italy,” she mentioned. “I have individuals touring from all above the Bay Location and they notify me about how their people used to make cannoli or the bakeries they employed to go to when they ended up young. When they appear in and see us piping, it brings them back again to a different time and it is a terrific relationship we make with our clients.”

Call Robert Eliason at [email protected]

Holy Cannoli!

Telephone: (408) 561-2223

Spot: 138 E. Santa Clara St. in San Jose

Website: holycannolisj.com


  • Open Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Closed Sunday and Monday

What puts them on the map: All the flavor and topping variations