15: Jim Cerreta Sr.

Jim Cerreta Senior tastemaker.jpg
Photo courtesy of Candi Cerreta
From now 'til we publish the 2012 edition of Best of Phoenix, New Times and Chow Bella present 100 Tastemakers -- Valley residents who make the cut in our culinary scene. Some you'll know; for others, it'll be a first introduction (but likely not the last). While you're here, check out our 100 Creatives on Jackalope Ranch.

Today: The Candy Man

Tastemaker 15: Jim Cerreta Sr.

Jim Cerreta Senior is owner and founder of Cerreta's Candy Co. in the heart of downtown Glendale. He moved to the Valley from Canton, Ohio in June 1968 -- and recalls that it was 118 degrees that day. He remembers asking Tim Coyle, of Mary Coyle's, "When's it gonna cool down?" He said, "It doesn't."

Cerreta learned chocolate making at Ben Heggy's in Canton, and moved to Arizona start his own chocolate factory. He says it's one of the best decisions he ever made. He lives by the motto: He who makes no change will make no dollar.

And yet his candy is most definitely old school.

I arrived in Phoenix with... two cars, 8 kids, one wife, and a trailer full of chocolate manufacturing machinery.

If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be... just my wife and I, that's enough, I don't want to pay for anymore.

One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is... Cerreta's Candy Co. It's a must, you can see how chocolate is made and manufactured, the aroma hits you as you walk through the door, and if that's not enough, we have free samples!

One menu item this city could do without is... I think I like everything - maybe I have a problem.

My last meal in Phoenix would be... I would go to Olive Garden, have a nice salad, and some gnocchi with marinara sauce. Now, gnocchi, isn't on the menu, it's a side, but I place two orders of it. Delicious.

The Tastemakers so far:
100: Tracy Dempsey
99: Craig DeMarco
98: Lara Mulchay
97: M.J. Coe
96: Betty Alatorre de Hong
95: Eric Schaefer
94: Hanna Gabrielsson
93: Shinji Kurita
92: Silvana Salcido Esparza
91: Mike Pitt
90: Christina Barrueta
89: Christopher Gross
88: Jan Wichayanuparp and Helen Yung
87: DJ Fernandes
86: Cullen Campbell
85: Chris Lee
84. Gwen Ashley Walters
83: Tony Morales
82: Lylah Ledner
81: Andrea White
80: Lori Hashimoto
79. Mrs. White
78: Eugenia Theodosopolous
77: Lou & Lovey Borenstein
76: Anthony Patafio
75: Carl Seacat
74: Sacha Levine
73: Sharon Salomon
72: Johnny Chu
71: Susie Timm
70: Jason Silberschlag
69: Gina Miller
68: Cindy Gentry
67: Amy Binkley
66: Dave Anderson
65: Mark Tarbell
64: Marianne Belardi
63: Audrey Lasalle
62: Brandon Gauthier
61: Brad and Kat Moore
60: Denise Clayton
59: Nobuo Fukuda
58: Richie Moe
57: Robin Trick
56: Alberto Della Casa and Letizia de Lucia
55: Farah Khalid
54: Dave Andrea
53: Vincent Guerithault
52: Danielle Leoni
51: Stan Zawatski
50: Maya Dailey
target="_blank">49: Duc Liao
48: Lisa Reinhardt
47: Isam Saed
46: Greg Peterson
45: Marco Bianco
44: Mark Fratu
43: Wendell Crow
42. Barb Harris
41: Michael Perry
40: Jeff Kraus
39: Ryan Avery
38: Charleen Badman
37: Damon Brasch
36: Dwayne Allen
35: Jason Asher
34: Pamela Hamilton
33: Victoria Chavez
32: Giovanni Scorzo
31: Tim Wilson
30: Travis Nass
29: Jason Alford
28: Clint Spotleson
27: Daniel Wayne
26: Korina Adkins
25: Carla Wade Logan
24: Jeff Zimmerman
23: Gabriele Bertaccini
22: Claudio Urciuoli
21: Peter DeRuvo
20: Natalie Morris
19: Eliot Wexler
18: Sam Fox
17: Bryan Dooley
16: Bernie Kantak

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Location Info

Venue

Map

Cerreta Candy Company

5345 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale, AZ

Category: General

Mary Coyle Ol' Fashion Ice Cream Parlor

5521 N. Seventh Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Olive Garden

1261 W. Southern Ave., Mesa, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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