Here’s how the Alesci family continues to evolve with the times

20220420 Alescis 0901– R
A mix of everything, Jim Alesci’s Place is a bakery to a deli, café, wine store and a place to find unique Italian grocery items. L-R: Jim and Frank Alesci are part of the multi-generational family of ownership of the bustling shop in Solon. (Photography: Felicia Vargo)

By Laura Briedis

For more than half a century, the Alesci name has been synonymous in Northeast Ohio with authentic Italian food. The family’s roots trace back to the 1940s, and stores spread throughout the region.

Jim Alesci’s Place, run by the third and fourth generations of Alescis, is building upon this quality brand and evolving with the times.

The original stores were places to go to buy Italian food in bulk and grab something to eat at the quick-service cafe. Today, the 6,000 square-foot Italian specialty store in Solon is so much more. A mix of everything—from a bakery to a deli, café, wine store and a place to find unique Italian grocery items—it is also Pizza Central, where you can get a piece of pizza to go or take home a DIY pizza kit to make your own creation.

All of the food at Alesci’s—from the bakery items to the Italian entrees—is made from scratch.

“When we opened the Solon store in 1991, we evolved with the times,” says Jim, whose grandfather started the business he now runs with his son, Frank. “We still pride ourselves on providing high-quality foods at fair prices combined with friendly customer service.”

A staple in Solon, the store is always bustling. However, you can still find a seat at the bar counter skirting the window, in the café nestled in the back of the store, or outside on the patio if you want to grab something fresh at the bakery or the prepared foods cases and sit down to eat.

Alesci’s prides itself on providing high-quality foods at fair prices combined with fast and friendly customer service.

And in the coming months, Alesci’s will start serving beer and wine in its café. “Customers will soon be able to grab a beer or wine bottle from our retail area and sit down and enjoy it in the café,” notes Frank.

Much of the food at Alesci’s—from the bakery items to the Italian entrees—is made from scratch. “Many of our recipes date back to my great-grandmother,” says Frank.

The Big Guido sandwich, one of the crowd faves on the menu, features a homemade baguette stuffed with genoa salami, capicola, ham and provolone.

And just like big Italian families love to gather for feasts, Alesci’s specializes in catering to large crowds and wowing palates with its scrumptious made-from-scratch foods.

Customized Catering
Whether you just want dinner for eight or are hosting a party for hundreds of guests, Alesci’s can cater your event.

“If you are looking to throw a party you can come to our store and taste everything, as we sell it here, too,” notes Frank. “Most caterers don’t have a place to visit and try the food.”

Summer is the busiest time of the year for catering, from religious ceremonies to graduation parties, family reunions, birthdays and weddings.

Whether you want to order boxed lunches, party trays, sandwich platters and sheet pizzas or build your own menu featuring Italian favorites such as Chicken Picatta, Eggplant Rollette and Penne Pasta, or Beef Tenderloin and Braised Beef Short Ribs, Alesci’s works with each customer to customize a menu.

A specialty at Jim Alesci’s Place, party trays featuring Italian meats are popular for special events.

“Our goal is to have our clients feel like a guest at their own event,” says Frank. “We don’t want them to have their backs turned to everyone at the kitchen sink but instead have the time to mingle with their guests.”

To that end, Alesci’s can handle everything from delivering the food and staffing servers and bartenders to providing tents, tables, linens and flowers.

Well known as catering specialists featuring Italian delicacies, Alesci’s also has earned a reputation for its baked goods. “Our Cassata Cake and Tiramisu are two of our most popular cakes,” says Frank. “And our cookies are delicious. We make them the old-fashioned way—by hand.”

The dessert options are virtually endless, from mini cheesecakes to cupcakes, cannolis, cream puffs, kolaches and cookies.

Next to the bakery is a coffee bar where Alesci’s brews Lavazza, a high-quality drip coffee. “Our bakery is often the gateway to everything else we do,” says Jim. “We are known for our Scaletta bread that is made fresh every morning and baked throughout the day. There are no preservatives in our bread.”

“Although we are known for our Italian dishes, we also offer many gluten-free, sugar-free, vegetarian and vegan options,” says Frank.

“We have the best customers in town and are so fortunate to have been serving the community for all of these years,” says Frank. “We live by our motto: This is the place where customers become friends.”

Jim Alesci’s Place, on Solon Road, is open seven days a week.

Jim Alesci’s Place is located at 32910 Solon Road, in Solon. The hours are Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 440-498-0888 or visit

Categories: Eastside Food & Dining