Cannoli crisis averted! Philadelphia Christmas tradition saved at Termini Bros

The bakery's 80-year-old machine broke right after Thanksgiving. It's critical in making the shells.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Just after midnight on Christmas Eve, while Santa is still out delivering toys, thousands of people line up for a Christmas tradition in South Philadelphia: pastries at Termini Bros.

But this year, their 100th Christmas, the storied bakery almost lost its cannolis.

You see, their 80-year-old machine, straight from Italy, broke right after Thanksgiving. It's critical in making the shells.

A replacement part would take months to get.

Christmas was almost lost until businesses from near and far stepped in to help.

In the end, Port Richmond Tool & Die, located right here on East Tioga Street in Philadelphia, got it back up and running again.

Cannoli angels answered the call.

"It's a family tradition in Philadelphia, and I don't know what I would have told people in line on Christmas Eve if we didn't have cannolis," Vincent Termini Jr. said.

"It's tradition. It's custom. It's nostalgia," he added. "People really rallied around the whole story. We just posted it not knowing that people from all over the country would reach out to us saying, 'That's what Philly is about. That's what the city is about."

At 6:30 a.m. Christmas Eve morning, Vincent Termini Sr., now 83 years old, will open the doors, and yes, cannolis will be inside.

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