Locals turn to South Philly bakery to cook Thanksgiving turkey

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- If you don't want to bother cooking the Thanksgiving turkey - or you don't know how - in Philadelphia you don't have to. For years, families have left the cooking up to Cacia's Bakery in South Philadelphia.

The process is simple. You bring your bird in the pan of your choice, drop it off, and get a number to make sure you pick up the correct turkey when you return. Then workers toss it into the famous brick oven - hours later you pick it up, take it home and eat up.

"The tradition started back in about 1955 when my grandfather and his brother decided to make a little bit of extra money around the holidays," said Danielle Cacia. "A typical South Philly row home doesn't have too big of a oven, so why not bring your turkey here, we'll cook it for you and then you have plenty of room in your oven for all of your other Thanksgiving goodies."

For many, showing up to the bakery with turkey in tow is as traditional as the holiday itself.

"It's really the only way to get your Thanksgiving turkey cooked. It is a wonderful holiday tradition. They do an unbelievable jobs with the birds," said Jonathan Ziss.

"I came to get my turkey's cooked because they do a great job here, and I am also celebrating my 50th birthday by waiting to get my turkey cooked," said Shawn Anthony of West Philadelphia.

Employees say lines start forming as early has 5 in the morning. Having the bakery cook the bird is great, but we all know it's the taste that is the most important for those around the dinner table, and customers say they are never disappointed.

"They are magicians back there. They are moist, juicy and delicious. They do a great job, and they keep our oven free all morning," said Ziss.

"Oh it is delicious, absolutely delicious," said Anthony. "We love it."

It's not all Turkey on Thanksgiving.

For many locals, another holiday tradition is heading over to Villari Brothers Bakery in South Philadelphia to stock up on Italian cuisine, fresh bread and those famous tomato pies.

"Seeded bread, plan bread, bagels, it's the best bakery around. We love it. Nice and fresh, no preservatives. Good old Italian bakery. Old School," said Katie Manherz of South Philadelphia.

"My family has been buying bread here for years, probably before I was born. This is some of the best rolls in South Philly. There is no doubt about it," said Bobby Pierce of South Philadelphia.

On Thanksgiving, of course, food is always a big highlight, but being with family is what really matters.
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