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Maria Merola is Closing her Pastry Shop After 50 Years on Cross Street in the North End

After 50 years, Maria Merola has decided to retire and close Maria’s Pastry Shop at 46 Cross Street in Boston’s North End. The last day of business will be September 15, 2019.

Tucked away on Cross Street, Maria’s was a local favorite with authentic, homemade offerings and a sanctuary from the Mike’s vs. Modern cannoli wars on Hanover Street.

The 66 year-old Fleet Street resident said, “I’ll stay in the North End but take more time to travel like my friends and visit family in Italy.”

Sfogliatelle, lobster tails and counter pastries at Maria’s (Photo by Matt Conti)

Known for some of the best Italian dolce in Boston, Merola started working at the location back in 1970 when it was still owned by Modern Pastry (which continues to operate around the corner on Hanover Street). In the early 1980’s, she took over ownership and ran the small, but popular, Maria’s Pastry Shop, through the long days of the Central Artery Project.

Inside Maria’s Pastry Shop, complete with the family cat. (Photo by Matt Conti)

The Big Dig was a long haul for Maria’s Pastry Shop with construction running right up to the windows for over 15 years. Those were dark days and took its toll on the shop. Still, she kept making her famous cannoli, ricotta pies and our favorite, the St. Joseph’s zeppole.

Zeppole from Maria’s Pastry Shop

Regular customers know that Maria has talked about closing for years, but she says “The time is right, I know it.” The start of yet more construction in front of her store might have been the last straw. She adds, “I will miss it, but it’s time.”

After the Big Dig construction cleared, her customers came back as shown by the frequent lines to the counter. Still, she laments that Cross Street never saw the promised foot traffic while Hanover Street boomed. The gates of J. Pace & Son are still closed next door and the Salem St. corner location, formerly Goody Glover’s then Peet’s Coffee, is now set to be a Chase Bank branch.

Maria says she will be open every day through September 15, 7am-7pm (5pm closing on Sunday’s) for her customers to get their last sweets from Maria’s Pastry Shop.

13 Replies to “Maria Merola is Closing her Pastry Shop After 50 Years on Cross Street in the North End

  1. A true institution of the neighborhood. I wish her all the best in her more-than-well-earned retirement!
    …and another empty store front in the “Gateway to the North End”. It’s getting bleaker by the month out there on Cross st. 🙁

  2. Maria makes the best cannoli! You will be missed, but you’ve left a great legacy. Enjoy your retirement!

  3. I hope she writes a book. If not, who get all the recipes??
    Thanks for staying strong these 50 years!
    You will be missed.
    The best to you.

  4. By far the best Zeppole in Boston! Sad to see the store close, but happy to know Maria will be enjoying the most important things in life. Buona Fortuna!

  5. I started school in Boston right at the time Maria opened. It was always the place I went when I had a little extra money to buy a treat. Her sfogliatelle and marzipan are THE BEST. My children grew up on Maria’s treats and there has never been a trip to the North End in 30 years without Maria’s because she was the reason to go! She still looks great and best wishes from another girl from the outskirts of Naples !

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