For 25 years, Gentile’s Bakery, Catering & Deli (5626 Broadview Rd., 216-351-1161) in Parma has been a favorite shop of countless Clevelanders looking for homemade Italian specialties. A recent move to a new location (Parma, back where the founding family originally set up shop after emigrating from Italy generations ago) has afforded them the opportunity to expand their operations and serve even more customers.
For many Clevelanders, particularly those of Italian descent, Gentile’s is a regular stop, where longtime customers can pick up a loaf of delicious, fresh-baked bread and maybe some bakery items to bring to a friend’s house. “My mom loves to bake,” says Nancy Gentile, who greets regular customers with a friendly smile, anticipating their needs before they can even voice them.
The dizzying variety of bakery items is well loved by many. Gentile’s doesn’t use hydrogenated oil; only butter and other natural ingredients. Sweet treats abound: pies, tiramisu, cassata cake, mocha amaretto cake, carrot cake, red velvet cake and European torts like torta mille sfoglie (puff pastry layers filled with pastry cream and rum sponge cake) and torta delizia (rum sponge cake with layers of apricot and raspberry fruit filling). Literally dozens of varieties of beautiful cookies are available daily, begging you to take them home ($12.99/pound) or enjoy in the shop with an espresso.
Delicious pizzas start around $10 for a large (call ahead for whole pizzas), and the shop also offers a selection of hot and cold subs, pasta dinners, pasta sauces, soups, salads, breads and rolls, all available for carry out. There also is a large variety of domestic and imported cheeses, meats and sausages and a selection of imported groceries.
Gentile’s does catering for weddings, christenings and parties, offering party trays, cakes, party subs, sheet pizzas and dinners for any occasion in every price range.