Causes / Holidays

Iannelli’s Bakery & Friends Will Help a Local Family in Need

Vince Iannelli, owner of Iannelli’s Brick Oven Bakery, South Philly’s famous tomato pie and gravy shop which opened in 1910 at 1155 E. Passyunk Ave, has gotten into the holiday spirit and organized a way to give back to a family in need this holiday season.

With the help of a number of friends and local businesses, Iannelli has launched Secret Santa’s Cooking for a Cause — an initiative which will give back to one deserving family who may be struggling this holiday season.

Included in the donations that Iannelli will present to one special family before New Year’s Eve are $1,000 cash raised from a recent Iannelli’s cooking class, a Di Bruno Bros. gift basket, free Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes, heater service to stay warm this winter, an Esposito’s Porchetta dinner package for New Year’s Eve, and a variety of gift cards.

In Iannelli’s search for a family in need, he is asking the public to chime in and reach out with someone’s story, requesting nominations be emailed to The initiative came to fruition after a recent Secret Santa good deed Vince did for a stranger: buying lunch for an older couple at Nick’s Roast Beef led to those folks investigating who their Secret Santa was so that they could thank him.

“Every holiday season I like to try to give back in a “Secret Santa-like way” to strangers, and this was the first time someone actually looked into who helped them,” said Iannelli. “The people who I purchased lunch for happened to be having a very bad day, as the husband has dementia and Parkinson’s, and they were coming from the doctor and were having a really hard time. They did some research after I paid their check, found me, and sent me an email saying that I turned a really bad day into a really nice day, and that there was no amount of money you could put into that. That really touched me, and I decided I wanted to help more people. It’s been a really rough couple of years for so many people, and we should all be helping those less fortunate anytime we can.”

Iannelli will accept nominations until Monday, December 26th, and then on December 27th, he will read the winning email for the designated family to win the prize package via social media at

“I couldn’t have done this without my little elves – our sponsors – and each and every person who is donating their time, services, and products to help make this possible,” said Iannelli.

Donations for this initiative are courtesy of Blade and Badger Barbershop, John’s Water Ice, Esposito’s Porchetta, Di Bruno Bros., Balance MMA, SneakPeak, Homemade by Bruno, The Lone Bruncher, Casa Vida, and Callahan HVAC.

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