Angela Jean Daley at Angelina's PastriesAngela Daley with a fresh bag of struffoli.

The sweet Italian confections at Angelina's Pastry are becoming year-round holiday treats, the product of a 23-year-old's skill and a bank's financial backing.

Angela Jean Daley welcomed her new next-door neighbor, Leader Bank, which provides the financing for her 14-month-old shop.

"It's excellent," she said of the bank, "Great for providing information and customer service."

She praised the banks' willingness to "take a chance" on her shop in providing a small-business loan.

A graduate of Arlington High School and in 2009 Johnson & Wales's baking and pastry program, she says she works seven days a week -- "23 hours on Thanksgiving" -- to keep her business cooking.

As the region and nation slowly emerge from a long recession, Angela calls the progress of her business in 15 months "good." She says it with a smile, so you know she means it, but is careful not to overstate.

"People don't have the time to bake, and so they come here," she said, as she took an afternoon break before the weekday rush of Ottoson students.

Offering to an onlooker a chocolate cookie sandwich, she gave credit to the source of her pastry passion and pinpointed the goodies that attract customers.

"I owe everything to my grandmother," the Arlington native said, referring to Angelina Basio of Belmont, for whom the shop is named.

What Angela learned from her is clear as she highlights some of the favorites among patrons:

* Connolis: Custard- or ricotta-filled, they are "always fresh-filled ... if they're in the fridge for even an hour, they are not as good."

* Sfogliatelle: Flaky crust encircling custard, with a texture resembling leaves stacked on each other.

* Lobster tails: A variation of Sfogliatelle, "popular among Ottoson kids."

* Struffoli: Honey balls

Let names like paragini roll off your tongue, and the go eat some.

Assisting is her husband, Kevin, who works the business side. Other family members helping out include her mother, her brother, James Muscioli, and a cousin.

The shop at 1193A Mass. Ave. is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Leader Bank opens Heights branch

This story was published Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012.