Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Chowhound Website Unfair to Paoli's Carangi Bakery — a Touch of South Philly in our Backyard

The Paoli small business community is thrilled to welcome Carangi Bakery in to the neighborhood. The Paoli Business & Professional Association has used Carangi’s for the last couple of monthly for our noontime meetings. As a board member of PBPA, I have to tell you their sandwiches and stromboli were great, but the cannoli’s . . well, let’s just say that they are unbelievable!

Like most new businesses, there are growing pains and learning curves. Although Carangi Bakery has had their Philadelphia location for years, the Paoli location is new — I think they opened this location in early fall. One of my friends raved about the bread and pies she had for Thanksgiving, so I know that they were opened by that point. But like all new businesses, sometimes things may not go as you planned or as you wished. Case in point, apparently Christmas Eve the store was a bit chaotic and customers did not leave as satisfied as the owners would have preferred. One dissatisfied customer decided in the last week to leave a very negative comment on the Chowhound website concerning their Christmas Eve experience. Although I think the comment was unnessarily personal and more negative than required, people are entitled to their opinion. But the problem is when the bakery owner tried to leave an apology comment on the Chowhound website it was immediately deleted. John Petersen visits the bakery regularly and he tried to leave a positive comment on the Chowhound website and that too was removed.

I am not sure what the deal is with the administrator of the Chowhound website, but I figure the best way to counter balance the one negative comment is to make a personal appeal on Community Matters for Carangi Bakery. My suggestion to all the readers . . . is go visit Carangi Bakery and take a touch of South Philly home with you! (And don’t forget the cannolis.)

Carangi Bakery is located on Lancaster Avenue in the old 4 Seasons store. A link to their website is:

Let’s make this new business feel really welcome . . . and be sure to tell the owner you read about them on Community Matters.

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  1. Peoples opinions are one thing but when they purposely put out only the negative its clear there is an agenda.
    Is there anyway to hold such low life’s accountable? What if such tactics were successful on sinking a business?
    Let us enjoy our bread, cannoli and cappuccino in peace and stop messing with a good business.

    Now that they’re here, I couldn’t imagine life without them. Paoli “The Bread Capitol of the Main Line”…has a nice ring to it :)

  2. On a related note, I believe the new ‘Rocco’s Steaks’ in Willistown uses Carangi for their rolls which were excellent.

    A site operated by CBS which is intellectually dishonest doesn’t surprise me.

    1. Well, I do participate on Chowhound, and I have seen a lot of new posters who have never used the site before come along and post comments like that, and for the most part the moderators remove them. Some of them use posting names you can look up on google and find a connection to the business, posting like they don’t own the place!

      I’m not saying it’s the case in your situation, but it seem there are people who do try to use review sites to pump up business, so it doesn’t surprise me that a new poster who posts at the same time the owner posted would raise some red flags.

  3. Sorry if I misunderstood. I was reading above

    “But the problem is when the bakery owner tried to leave an apology comment on the Chowhound website it was immediately deleted. John Petersen visits the bakery regularly and he tried to leave a positive comment on the Chowhound website and that too was removed.” That sounds to me like it was happening around the same time but I’m sorry if I misinterpreted it.

    So, you suddenly decided to leave positive feedback several times on a website you’ve never used before, soon after the owner was trying to post and was deleted. Be honest here… did the owner ask you to post on his behalf? If not, what did motivate you to post there?

  4. Are you really trying to imply that John had suspect motives in posting comments regarding a bakery on a review website? I mean, seriously. It’s one thing to make certain allegations regarding to political dialogue (which I still don’t agree with) but how reasonable is it that John, or anyone else, would be involved in some big conspiracy on behalf of a new bakery? That’s a little childish.

  5. Huh? That makes no sense, John. If you’re talking about the thread at, how could the owner have put up their comments replying to that “Several weeks ago” when it was only posted 2 weeks ago?

    Roger, I’m not implying any conspiracy. I’m just curious what inspired John to post on that site, and i find it interesting how he’s so ready to make snarky comments but can’t answer that question. I wouldn’t find it surprising if the owner told him about geting deleted. Hey, if I was in a situation where I felt a business i loved was being unfairly treated, I’d probably post too. But I don’t know that I’d try to pretend I just independently happened across a site where a business I’m a fan of just happened to get their posts deleted and the two events are unrelated. So John, be honest, is that the case here?

    If that is indeed the case, then the website’s rules explain pretty clearly why the posts were deleted. No fraud, just an overly harsh TOS. You might not agree with it, but to call it “fraud” is misleading.

      1. I think you’re a bit confused about what the word “fraud” means, John.

        Please explain where there was fraud perpetrated on the site’s part? They’ve got rules that are clearly (if not prominently) stated and, it seems, pretty evenly applied. The owner’s post violated those rules, as did yours. The posts were removed, as their rules say they will be. That seems pretty much the opposite of fraud and dishonesty.

        The only dishonestly I’m seeing is the part where you were not being straightforward and letting posters there know that know the owner and are posting because you talked to him and didn’t like how his posts got removed. As I said, I participate on the site and I count on it for unbiased opinions. I don’t want to hear about what the owner thinks of his business, or what his friends think. I want to hear what average people who aren’t buddies with the business owners think.

        1. I’m not sure why you think they don’t have stated criteria for removing posts. They do, at, as I pointed out earlier. Perhaps you could apply those reading skills you bragged about earlier?

          I do have to agree there is a bias on the site. The bias is to give a voice to the average customer. Businesses have lots of ways to get their messages out- press releases, websites, newsletters, email blasts, advertisements, news stories. But there aren’t many places where customers can share their opinions. There are more these days, but when Chowhound started (?10 years ago?) it was the first website I’d seen offer a place for average people like me to share experiences and make and get recommendations. I think that’s a valuable goal even if it is a one-sided one.

          Yes, feedback can be shared on the site, so there’s no fraud there. But not everybody who wants to give feedback is allowed to do it, and that’s stated upfront as well. Again, no fraud. I have seen negative newbies get deleted too, so again, if there is a bias, it’s towards people who stick around and participate, and aren’t just one-note Nellies. I like that it’s a community, with people whose opinions I trust because I see them give a wide range of opinions. Whenever a new poster starts posting, and all I see them post about is the same thing (bad or good) it makes me suspicious and i guess I’m not the only one. And your experience actually does make me feel better about the site, so you’re right, good for me. I’m glad that they’re doing something to try to the opinions coming from people who don’t have an association with businesses. Citysearch (Shillysearch) is a joke and Yelp isn’t any better. I don’t think it would be possible for any site to ensure a truly honest and unbiased level of discourse, but I’m glad someone is willing to try.

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