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.”
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.
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.
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.