In 1897 Alesandro Cerino arrived at Ellis Island with his 3 brothers. He later settled in the Cleveland area and brought his young bride and eldest son, Dominic, from Italy. Carrie's father, Carlo Coraretti, brought his wife and children from Italy in 1916. The voyage for then 6 year-old Carrie brought forth her independent spirit. She would consistently sneak out from the hold to spend time with the sailors, learning their raucous songs and chanteys.
Dominic met Carrie Coraretti in 1929, and they were married in 1931. In the good old days Carrie Cerino's veal parmigiana disappeared moments after it was served. But in those days, the young bride's culinary creations were tossed out the second-floor window more often than into the stomach of her husband, Dominic. It was a cruel fate, particularly because the less than tasty meal plummeted by the window of an observant mother-in-law. Those quick lessons in pride taught the young Carrie Cerino how to cook and born where the Cerino culinary standards.
In 1945, she marched into a bank, asked for the president and declared, "My name is Carrie Cerino, and I want you to remember that name." Then she asked for and received, $3,000 as a down payment for what would be her first bakery in Maple Heights.
Starting a business in the 1940's was difficult for a woman. Carrie needed to be creative in order to succeed. On one occasion she had paid for flour and sugar with an unsigned check. By the time the delivery man returned to collect, she had gathered together enough money from the days sales to pay for the goods.
Another time, she kept the gas company from shutting off the gas for nonpayment. She planted her 240 pound frame on the shutoff valve with a butcher knife and challenged: "Move me. I have bread baking." The gas company called the police department. Upon being told it was their local baker, Carrie Cerino, they respectively declined. The gas was not shut off, the bread baked, the loaves were sold and the gas bill was paid.
Carrie eventually branched into catering in 1955. She had always stated that she wanted to own a restaurant. In 1962, Carrie and Dominic walked into the old Schukert Chalet in North Royalton and found it for sale. She asked Dominic how much money he had on him and he pulled a weathered 20 dollar bill from his pocket. He placed it on the bar for a down payment. They borrowed $165,000 to buy the building and the land, and invested their love and family spirit.
With children Dominic Jr., Alex and Jane, many years of love and hard work went into making Carrie Cerino's dream not only a reality but a Cleveland landmark. In 1972 the Cerino's built their grand ballroom. With more additions to the building in 1975 and 1980, now there were three generations working side by side sharing Carrie's passion. Recently the fourth generation of Cerino's has entered into the work force to help carry on the tradition.
The Cerino family would like to thank you and all the others before you for your patronage over the years. We have come a long way since the humble beginnings of that young bride watching her food being tossed from a second story window. We will continue to strive to meet Carrie's standards of excellence. We will stay committed to being the longest standing family owned restaurant in the community. The Cerino's and their valued employees shall always maintain Carrie's vision and passion to make all of our foods in our own kitchen and bakery, so that we may bring our patrons the finest and freshest meal possible. As guests of Carrie Cerino's, you shall be treated as if you were in our home, because you are!