Meet the Chef + the Nonnas
Bisnonna Bakeshop is inspired by the mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers that passed down their recipes— and their sweet tooth— from generation to generation. We’re proud to honor these women in everything we make.
The pastry chef + creative behind Bisnonna Bakeshop, the first cake she ever made was with her grandmom, Maryann -- and it was a boxed chocolate cake mix they stuffed with canned cherry pie filling. As she got older, Maryann would mail her recipe clippings from her favorite magazines, share snippets of family history over her beloved cheesecake, and chat on the phone about whatever current Food Network show she was currently watching (and Giada was always too skinny).
She launched Bisnonna Bakeshop in 2019 with Jersey-Shore born husband, Dominick: both George Mason grads who missed the flavors they grew up with after deciding to make northern Virginia their forever home.
Phyllis, 1914 - 2003
Nicole’s maternal great-grandmother from North Jersey, for whom Bisnonna is named.
While we didn’t know her long, our earliest, and strongest, memory of Phyllis is the smell of warm cookies. Her home always smelled of fresh-baked treats: dozens of cookies stacked high to welcome her family. Some with fruit, some with sprinkles, some with chocolate and more sugar than any one person could eat— but eating them together, over coffee and conversation, that’s where home was. BB’s signature kolache cookie is made from the same recipe she passed down through four generations: tender, flaky, and full of heart.
Dominick’s paternal grandmother and first-generation Italian-American, Joanne combines the flavors of her past with the no-nonsense methods of Pittsburgh’s coal country with heavy pewter measuring cups and the same well-worn, flour-covered wooden pastry board she’s been using for decades. She still cranks out the steel city’s cookie table tradition for family celebrations and gatherings and is just a phone call away for when we need the expert’s advice.
It's Joanne's own recipes that pack our biscotti and pizzelle with flavor, and one day we hope to travel to the tiny Italian town outside of Abruzzo that shares her maiden name.