United States

The Tell-Tale Pizzelle: Police Say Thank You After Solving Decades-Long Cookie Mystery

Dozens of officers lined Antonietta Manganiello's street to say thank you for delivering the homemade cookies for so long

Medford police officers like Carl Brooks have been enjoying delicious baked goods delivered to the department for years. 

"They just kind of showed up at the main desk miraculously," Brooks said.

Pizzelles and other treats were dropped off to the station several times a year, but the baker behind the sweet deliveries of Italian cookies was always a bit of a mystery to many at the department.

"We literally did just know her as 'the pizzelle lady,'" Sgt. Charlie Hartnett said.

That is, until health issues kept 81-year-old Antonietta Manganiello out of the kitchen.

But that wasn't going to stop her from delivering. Instead, she sent her daughter to the station with fresh-picked tomatoes from their garden.

Her daughter, Gerri Manganiello, said her mother came to the U.S. from Italy when she was 20 years old. Growing up, her mother always told her, "If you do good you get good back."

That package of produce prompted Brooks to return the favor, and the department did, in a big way.

Dozens of officers lined Manganiello's street to surprise her Saturday morning. They delivered flowers, a trophy and a message more than 20 years in the making.

Brooks says the message was simple: "I just thanked her. She's a sweet and lovely woman who has been doing this for no other reason than just to be nice."

The video the department posted on social media has generated thousands of shares and comments from people across the country and beyond — including one comment that helped Hartnett realize why so many people were reacting.

"There was one comment from someone saying, 'I was getting ready to get off social media, all the platforms, because of the negativity, but this is why I'm staying back on,'" Hartnett said.

It's a show of gratitude in response to a simple act of kindness that is now bringing smiles to even more strangers.

And, in the end, it's a recipe for something much sweeter than any dessert.

"Stories like this just make you want to be engaged, " Harnett said.

He added that the department was even contacted by someone from Italy looking to find out where Manganiello is originally from, because they would like to share her story with her hometown paper.

Contact Us