PHOTOS Courtesy of Nicholas Serpe
The grand reopening celebration starts at 7 a.m. with a blessing by a priest from St. Anthony of Padua. Many people don’t know about the link between bread and the Roman Catholic saint, Serpe says. As the story goes, a mother promised St. Anthony that she would give wheat and bread to the poor if he revived her drowned child. The child lived, and she kept her promise. Today, St. Anthony’s Bread refers to the thanksgiving or alms that a supplicant offers when the saint answers his or her prayer.
Friday’s festivities will also feature a flag-raising ceremony by the Elsmere Fire Company, and a live broadcast by WDEL’s Rick Jensen.
The reopening is happening later than anticipated, and just in time for the busy holiday season. “We wanted to make sure we did it right,” Serpe says.
The Serpe family also had to wait for an insurance company to complete an investigation. In October, The News Journal reported that Serpe & Sons was suing a Canadian manufacturer for failing to correctly install a safe oven.
Over the past 10 months, Serpe’s had continued supplying some wholesalers with bread from New Jersey bakeries. “Some of them stuck with us,” Serpe says. “We can’t thank them enough. We would not have gotten through the reconstruction without their cooperation.”
The same is true of the bakery’s retail customers. “All the support we’ve been getting on Facebook has definitely been gratifying,” Serpe says. “It kept us going.”
Serpe & Sons Bakery is located at 1411 Kirkwood Highway in Elsmere, Del., 19805. Call 994-1868 or visit www.serpesbakery.com.