Cannoli Bar came to be when friends Carlo Mellini and Anthony Calenda decided to sell cannoli and biscotti in the suburb where they grew up – Avondale Heights in Melbourne’s north-west.
The name is a nod to the mid-century milk bar the cannolificio has operated in since 2018. It’s on a quiet residential street, but Mellini and Calenda’s cannoli are so popular, you usually can’t get a park out front.
Since Victoria went into lockdown in March, the once-buzzing cafe has been quiet. But inside, the owners have been working to change up the menu for takeaway.
“You can say Cannoli Bar went back to its Sicilian roots by adapting to a street-style takeaway cannoli-stand concept,” Mellini says. “Cannoli are naturally enjoyed in company, [or as something] to take to the family. But we also noticed that the store became cold and lonely without all our weekly sit-in customers.”
Along with items from the usual menu (which includes paninis, pizzas and pasta), customers can pick up DIY cannoli kits and packs of handmade pasta to make at home.
“We’ve always had cannoli kits available in-store, but we usually only advertised them for Christmas time so that people can enjoy them on Christmas Day when we’re closed,” says Mellini.
“The decision to make them a standard thing was just to offer our customers that piped-fresh crunchy experience, and also to give them the flexibility of having cannoli in the fridge during lockdown that they can pipe themselves when they please.”
All Cannoli Bar’s flavours are available, including the Sicilian with sweetened ricotta, mascarpone, chopped dark couverture chocolate, candied citrus and glacé cherries. There’s also Nutella, pistachio, vanilla and chocolate custard. Packs ($50) include 10 shells, a piping bag of custard, and chocolate or nuts to decorate the ends.
The new pasta packs include egg fettuccine; potato gnocchi; and ravioli and cannelloni (which can be filled with beef or ricotta and spinach). They come in 250-gram, 500-gram or one-kilo packs, which are priced at $18 to $32 per kilo depending on the pasta and filling.
“We thought, ‘Why not give our customers the option to take a little of our kitchen produce home?’” Mellini says.
23 Riviera Road, Avondale Heights
Wed to Fri 8am–3pm
Sat & Sun 8am–4pm