Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the tradition of turkey cooking continues at Cacia Bakery in South Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) – While many Thanksgiving plans have had to change, the main course plan has remained on track for 74 families in Philadelphia.

“Since the beginning of October, I’ve been getting phone calls asking if we’re still doing it,” said Joe Cacia, whose great-grandfather founded Cacia Bakery in South Philadelphia.

For decades, the bakery has offered the neighborhood to cook its turkeys in its brick oven, built 50 years ago. The family says the secret is their oven traps the turkey’s moisture.

“That must be pretty good, right? If they’re willing to come in the middle of the pandemic to cook their turkeys here,” Cacia said.

Germantown’s Veronica and Anthony Reel were the first in line at 4 a.m. They say they watched this tradition for years on Action News and had to try it out for themselves.

“Early bird catches the worm and we’re going to be enjoying this turkey today,” Reel said.

The process was already favorable to the pandemic. One person is allowed in the bakery at a time. They drop off their turkey, take a number and come back 5 hours later.

“A lot of people always have, like a few of my neighbors and all, so I tried it and it just tastes delicious,” said Marion Daccelli of South Philadelphia, who said she was happy that the tradition continues despite COVID-19.

The Cacias said they were happy to provide the service this year, especially to make the holidays feel normal for some people and to make the block feel like a Thanksgiving dinner as well.

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