Golden Cannoli (a Chelsea, MA-based maker of cannoli shells, filling, and chips) is partnering with retailer Williams Sonoma, San Francisco, to offer cannoli kits for online shoppers. The product enables consumers to assemble cannoli in their homes for optimal freshness.

The Golden Cannoli Mini Cannoli kit includes:

  • 36 cannoli shells
  • Four bags of ricotta-based cannoli filling
  • Sprinkles
  • Chocolate chips
  • Confectioner’s sugar

The kit can be purchased from the Williams Sonoma website. To find out more about the product and collaboration, Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery spoke with Valerie Bono-Bunker, Golden Cannoli chief sales and marketing officer/co-owner.

Jenni Spinner. Please tell us about how this partnership came about.

Valerie Bono-Bunker: When I started working at Golden Cannoli in 2001 with my dad, my first plan of attack was to create a list of top 10 partners that I would like to work with in my Golden Cannoli lifetime. Back then William Sonoma was on my list for a cannoli dry mix partnership, but we just did not have the capacity to package, and we wanted to make sure everything was perfect from the beginning. We promise to never overpromise and underdeliver, so that project was put aside to focus on other opportunities.

With those opportunities came expansion and growth into markets that created our term, “cannoli awareness.” With extensive cannoli awareness across the country, we found it was the perfect time to present to William Sonoma and jump into the B to C online sales category. We know there are a lot of ways to impact the online store. However, we are not interested in doing business with everyone, just the right ones and William Sonoma is a company we align with in many ways. We continued to present and communicate with the creative team at William Sonoma and finally found the right cannoli kit for their needs.

JS: What about fresh cannoli and the assembly experience in general, and Golden Cannoli specifically, might appeal to Williams Sonoma consumers?

VBB: William Sonoma customers are excited about rolling up their sleeves and doing a little work to create a magnificent experience in the kitchen. This does not only have to be for a party but can be an everyday experience. Consumers today that enjoy cannoli, enjoy a fresh filled, crunchy shell, garnished with their favorite toppings. This flexibility to always have a custom cannoli on hand at home, shells in the pantry, and filling in the freezer, allows families to invite “company” over anytime and have a perfect cannoli experience, every time. The assembly can be fun and engaging for all ages and there is nothing to be intimidated by as we provide a step-by-step guide on how to fill, along with our newly made “how to fill” a cannoli.

JS: How does Golden Cannoli strive to set its products apart from other companies offering cannoli shells and fillings/toppings?

VBB: Golden Cannoli strives for product perfection every day in every way. If you think of the lifecycle of product development, we try to make sure we are sourcing and partnering with those that think outside the box, providing high-quality ingredients and packaging is just one thing that we spend a lot of time on together. Our operations team creates an environment where we can build orders, of any size, and meet our customers’ needs, on time, in full, with the best customer service in the industry.

Specific to this William Sonoma package, we were so excited to be able to brand our items for this partnership and use the best packaging to reduce breakage in transit, increase the quantity of shells from your usual 12 shells to 36 without a huge increase on price per shell, and add clean, natural toppings to complete the incredible experience.

JS: Do you have any plans to introduce cannoli kits in any other retail locations (or online sellers)?

VBB: We like to walk before we run, so I would say we are not opposed to it, but it must be the right opportunity with the right business-to-customer partner so we can continue to spread positive “cannoli awareness” across the globe and exceed expectations with a cannoli experience at home. COVID has created opportunities that no one knew about years ago, so we never know when the phone rings who it may be.

JS: Are there any other product launches in the works you’d be willing to offer a sneak peek at?

VBB: We are always developing. We are expanding some development into cannoli inclusions—specifically tarts, pies, cakes, and cookies where there is a huge push on innovation and quality and volume needs. We can check those boxes on all opportunities since we have invested early on in our expansion. We can meet manufacturer needs with our capacity and flexibility in items, recipes, and packaging. We like to think we are all things cannoli but now even more; in this world, more is not better, but the right things are always welcome. We are excited about the growth and innovation that is coming in 2023 and are eager to keep working together!