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Italian restaurant, deli brings slice of New York to east Bradenton

Ermanno Morrone has opened Morrone's of Arthur Ave., an Italian restaurant and deli, in east Bradenton.
Ermanno Morrone has opened Morrone's of Arthur Ave., an Italian restaurant and deli, in east Bradenton.
Photo by Liz Ramos
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When Ermanno Morrone and his wife, Albana, came to visit the Sarasota area last November, they wanted to take a peek at houses. 

The New Yorkers wanted to move to Florida, but they thought that was still a few years off.

Their real estate agent took them to Lakewood Ranch, and the Morrones fell in love with the slice of paradise. 

Ermanno Morrone, who owns and operates Morrone’s Pastry Shop and Cafe on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, New York, told his real estate agent he was curious about available business spaces in the area. 

When he walked through the door of a small business space on 53rd Avenue East and Caruso Road in Bradenton, he immediately knew it would become the new Morrone’s Italian restaurant and deli. 

“He was like, ‘I don’t care how long it takes, I want this place,’” Albana Morrone said of her husband. 

In February, Albana Morrone moved to Lakewood Ranch with their daughters, Mia and Gianna, followed by Ermanno Morrone in April. They went to work right away, preparing to open. 

Morrone’s of Arthur Ave. opened June 10. 

“That was the scariest thing to do for me, leave New York City,” Albana Morrone said. “We had a successful business, a beautiful home. To leave all that and come to another place we know nothing about, it was very stressful as a mother. I’ll never forget I was driving to work and thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, what if nobody’s there?’ My anxiety was through the roof. But then I see cars and people lined up at the door.”

Albana Morrone describes her husband as a perfectionist who only wants the best for his family and his customers. 

After seeing the overwhelming response to the news of Morrone’s opening, Ermanno Morrone decided to limit the new restaurant and deli’s hours so he could focus on hiring a staff that could handle the influx of customers. 

“He wants everything from customer service to dining to be 100%,” Albana Morrone said. “He would rather close. He doesn’t care about losing money. He would rather make sure everything is 100%.”

Born and raised on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, Ermanno Morrone started working at a bakery at 9 years old as a dishwasher. The job would inspire his passion for food and launch his desire to open his own bakery. 

“My husband uses old-school recipes handed down from generations in his family,” Albana Morrone said. “You can’t even find these types of recipes on the internet because a lot of people don’t do these things anymore.”

He went to the French Culinary Institute in New York City and graduated top of his class as a pastry chef before opening his first pastry shop in the Bronx in 2000. 

“I just love food,” Ermanno Morrone said. “I’m good at it. I just know good food.”

By 2019, he opened two more pastry shops and a deli, catering and Italian restaurant in New York. 

While they still own Morrone’s Pastry Shop and Cafe in the Bronx, they sold their other businesses when they moved to Florida.

“It’s been amazing watching him succeed and grow,” Albana Morrone said of her husband. “Coming from an immigrant family, he had nothing. They had nothing. To see him succeed like this where literally people know his last name nationwide is amazing.”



Liz Ramos

Liz Ramos covers education and community for East County. Before moving to Florida, Liz was an education reporter for the Lynchburg News & Advance in Virginia for two years after graduating from the Missouri School of Journalism.

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