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Holy Cannoli's! Here They Are, to Stay, in Downtown Rochester

Family-owned-and-operated Main Street shop offers cannoli like your grandma used to make.

The storefront may be new, but Holy Cannoli's has been serving up "devilishly delicious" treats to Rochester for years.

You may have found them at the , the or the . And once you've tasted the cannoli you've probably been looking for them ever since.

Your search is over: Holy Cannoli's has taken up permanent residence at 415 South Main.

"People who have tried our cannoli track us down," co-owner Cathy Schulte said. "They come in and tell us, 'We've been waiting for this!' "

Exact hours are a work in progress but the cannoli shop opens daily at 11 a.m. with the exception of Monday, when it's closed. Look for late hours on Friday and Saturday to fulfill that after-dark sweet tooth need.

A family recipe

Holy Cannoli's is a family business. There is grandmother Sharon Beheler, mom Cathy Schulte and daughters Nicole Francy and Christina Granger. 

"Everybody does it all," Francy said.

"Everybody has to be in the kitchen, even the men. They started as taste testers then got 'promoted' to labor," Granger added.

But the family recipe for the cannoli goes back even further than these three generations of women.

"When I was growing up during the holidays all my aunts would get together to make cannoli," Schulte said. "They were in their 90s at the time and it was their grandmother's recipe!"

That makes it a recipe well over 100 years old.

"We like to tell people it's just like your grandma's cannoli but made by our grandma," Francy explained.

In fact Beheler is the head chef of the operation, making the shells, or "little tubes" from scratch and the cream fillings fresh daily.

And while no one is going to mess with a good thing, the family isn't afraid to try new things.

"I like experimenting," Francy said. "Especially with seasonal fruit based on what we can get locally."

Recently Key Lime, Mint Chocolate Chip and Strawberry cannoli joined the display case.

"Our customers have a lot of ideas of flavors to try and we jot them down," Schulte said. "Some are wonderful and some ... well, let's just say they don't make the display case!"

A family business

When you hear for 30 years, "You should do this as a business" it's hard not to pay attention.

Beheler also owns an antique shop in Washington Township called The Bank of Antiques. Every year they host a Holiday Open House where the family cannoli are served. 

"From the age 5 and up we'd spend every Thanksgiving weekend making 500 to 1,000 cannoli for the open house," Granger said. 

Soon people were coming just for the cannoli. With so many raves, the family decided it was time to take the cannoli for a test drive.

"We did a bridal show to see if people besides family and friends were interested, and, wow, were they!" Francy said. The business started at special events, markets and even setting up shop at and during the holidays.

Now the family, including husbands and cousins, is working together "like a well-oiled machine" on Main Street. 

"When you work together and play together you're friends for a lifetime and we do both of those," Beheler said.

In the store

In addition to a variety of cannoli, the store also sells pistachio baklava, cream puffs and personal cassata cakes. Full-sized cakes can be special ordered.

"We want a whole cannoli theme with cream filling in everything, including cupcakes," Francy said. 

Holy Cannoli's has also perfected a gluten-free cannoli with blended flour from Hillman, MI. The gluten-free cannoli are baked in a separate gluten-free kitchen. 

"We've gotten really positive feedback on the gluten-free," Schulte said. "People say it tastes just like what they remember."

Holy Cannoli's offers "Build Your Own Cannoli" kits in six- or 12-shell packages for the fun and freshness of on-demand assembly. It also offers cannoli in a chip-and-dip format for easy snacking or entertaining.

Finally, the store is selling old-fashioned candy and a variety of made-in-Michigan products.

"We've met a lot of great people with quality products at farmers markets. We want to give them another way to get their product out there," Francy said. Products include toffee, pot pies, salad dressing, organic cheese and popcorn.

"We have been real fortunate with the support we've had," Schulte said. "We just want to pass it on."

Sandy Tabacchi March 25, 2012 at 04:19 PM
I'm a purist - I had the original cannoli. My husband loves key lime pie, but they were out that day. I guess I'll have to go back!
nicole March 27, 2012 at 03:19 PM
That's Wonderful.... Tell her we can always make her a Holy Cannoli's birthday cake... Chocolate cake with cannoli filling, it's our "devlishly delicious Cassata cake!" Thanks to everyone for a great weekend, looking forward to many more.
Bob Frost February 12, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Holy Cannoli in Rochester just totally screwed me over. I saw a posting from The Hungry Dudes food reviewers that posted some wonderful looking Paczki. I contacted them on their facebook page to see if they had them in stock. They told me that they did. I asked them to reserve 2 dozen for me. I planned on sharing them with friends and family. They told me that it was not a problem and that I could come get them. I drove 45 minutes to get to the bakery, and once I was there, they told me that they didnt have my order. They never actually got the donuts in this morning. They made promises based on something they didnt have on hand. They said that they tried contacting me on facebook to let me know. Really? No message on my facebook page or in my inbox. How exactly did they try to contact me? Instead of trying to make things right, they told me "you can buy canolli or cupcakes instead. it's the same filling." If I wanted canolli or cupcakes, I would have bought them at the bakery 5 minutes from my house. They let me walk out of the store empty handed. I am completely and thoroughly disappointed with the way they conducted themselves in this matter.
Kristen Famiano February 13, 2013 at 03:44 AM
That is very disappointing for sure. I know this was their first time in the joint venture with Knapp's. They told me about future plans for next year to make it better. They are also a new business. I have had nothing but wonderful experiences there. I would be angry in your shoes as well, but I encourage you to give them another chance to make it right. They seem like wonderful, family oriented people who are doing their best with a new business. I know a day like today can be overwhelming.
Bob Frost February 13, 2013 at 04:37 AM
They have blocked me from their facebook page and removed my comments, so I dont think I will be giving them a second chance. All of my relatives and friends that live in that area certainly know what happened and how things were handled, and I am sure they will spread the word as well. I understand that sometimes things happen that are beyond your control. My main point of contention is that they lied to me. They specifically told me they had my order placed aside with my name on them prior to me heading out. When I arrived, they made no attempt to resolve the issue. Once I voiced my opinion on their facebook page, they offered to deliver them to my house. That would be a nice resolution, but it is something that should have been offered when I was in the store. I should have never been able to leave with a bitter taste in my mouth. The previous night, I posted pictures of their desserts on my own page, shared them out to all of my friends and told them I would be buying enough to share. Now, I had to let those same people know that I was not going to be able to fill that commitment. Just an overall disappointing experience. Business 101 tells you that as an owner, if you messed up, and you know you messed up, you resolve the situation to the satisfaction of the customer. Maybe things dont get done like that these days in Rochester. Oh well. My loss. I did end up bringing 14 pazcki from Knapps after striking out at Holy Cannoli. So my trip was not a total loss.

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