Jordan Chila

It’s got sweet. It’s got savory. It’s got heart and soul. It’s newly opened Joe’s Cannoli Bakery at 1130 Pleasant Street in Worcester. Owner Yussef Khalaf has been in the food industry for about 20 years and has worked in various places around Massachusetts. Leaving his mark and transcending the competition, Khalaf works diligently to provide a unique pastry experience. He keeps his products fresh, his cakes custom and his sandwiches authentic. It’s truly an exciting neighborhood experience.


Khalaf has honed his culinary and baking skills for years. Starting out his journey at places like The Boynton, La Scala, Val’s and even his uncle’s bakery Gerado’s, he finally decided to set up shop mere minutes from where he grew up. Joe’s Cannoli is in Tatnuck Square,  and is unique from other bakeries in the area. Khalaf is not worried about a little friendly competition, knowing that he offers the area homemade breads, pizza, and some pretty delicious cookies. “Yes, there is competition,” Khalaf says, “but none of them sell cannolis.” He set himself apart by offering more than you get at your typical coffee shop. 

When asked to try the most popular cannoli in the shop Khalaf asked, “Can I do you one better?” as he offered up his own creation of the JoJo Bar. Layered cookie, caramel, and cannoli filling dipped in a creamy chocolate coating really is a work of genius. This is Khalaf’s take on a Twix bar and it truly does not disappoint. If you want something a little simpler, there is always something great about a cookie and Joe Cannoli offers a flavor packed Oreo Nutella cookie that melts in your mouth. 

All the pastries at Joe Cannoli are fresh every day. Held only in the case until the afternoon, you will find that each sweet is made to order once it is sold out. Khalaf also does his best to promote the end of food waste by making just the right amount of goods for his cases and using the “Too Good To Go” app. Each day the Joe Cannoli’s products that are pulled and switched are placed in surprise bags. If you ever want to live on the adventurous side, be sure to snag a surprise bag of “That Day’s Cannoli” from the app at a cheaper cost.  It’s like Russian Roulette for your taste buds. 

Giving back more than just the sweets, you will also be able to meet your appetites demands with an Italian sandwich, soup, or even pizza. Khalaf develops fresh breads daily and has worked to make some great sandwiches. You can always find a hearty soup of the day and some fresh homemade cheese pizza. Khalaf also offers up some different toppings for his pizzas when the ingredients are there. However, the truly amazing concept of his food is the names he has given to his sandwiches. Khalaf, formerly an Union electrician, pays homage to his fellow Union workers by recognizing them in the titles of his sandwiches. “I named all the sandwiches after all the trades I previously worked with before I started this.” You will find the Local 336, Local 96, Local 4, Local 7, Local 243, and the Local 330 on his menu. 

This place is just a tiny corner of Worcester, but it offers a memorable and delicious experience. With hard work, dedication and a lot of determination, Khalaf has accomplished his dream of opening a bakery in his hometown neighborhood and so we get to partake in this dream by consuming some delectable offerings. Check out this new establishment! You’ll be pleasantly surprised by not only the food but by the friendly staff as well.