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Hometown Heartthrob Serves Up a New Season of The Bachelor

Grazaidei+poses+with+the+staff+of+Collegeville+Italian+Bakery+Pizza.
Courtesy of Steve Carcarey
Grazaidei poses with the staff of Collegeville Italian Bakery Pizza.

Love is in the air, and not just because Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Monday, Jan. 22 marked the premiere of The Bachelor’s 28th season, featuring pro tennis coach and Pennsylvania native, Joey Grazaidei as this year’s bachelor.
Pennsylvania is a pretty big state, so what’s all the “racquet” about? Grazaidei grew up in Royersford, Pennsylvania, which is only a 30-minute drive from Villanova. Though Grazaidei moved to Hawaii to pursue a career as a professional tennis instructor, the hometown pride is very real. Grazaidei has made quite a few appearances at the beloved Collegeville Italian Bakery Pizzeria Napoletana, which has rallied the local community around Grazaidei’s journey and done a great deal to stir up support for the local bachelor.
Steve Carcarey, co-owner of Collegeville Italian Bakery with his wife Patrizia, spoke about his experience working with Grazaidei to film some hometown footage for the show.

“I’ll never forget, the producers said they’ve never seen anything like it,” Carcarey said. “The turnout from the community and the support that Joey received from the community was absolutely astonishing.”

After filming, Grazaidei made another appearance at the bakery’s annual holiday toy drive, per Carcarey’s request.

“We thought of a great idea: meet and greet with Joey, but no toy, no Joey,” Carcarey said. “About 516 people attended to meet Joey. He made a lot of kids’ Christmases with that two hour appearance.”

With all of Grazaidei’s visits, Collegeville Italian Bakery has had a lot of one-on-one time to get to know this bachelor.

“Our staff had nothing but nice things to say about him,” Carcarey said. “I think what you see is what you get. He’s just a really great guy…We’re just so happy for him.”

Collegeville Italian Bakery and Grazaidei’s paths crossed once more on the night of the premiere, when the bakery hosted a watch party for the local community. Commercial breaks were filled with “Joey Trivia,” where attendees tested their knowledge about Grazaidei to compete for fun prizes.

“We felt that we owed that to Joey, his family and our customer base,” Carcarey said. “We were just proud of him.”

This season of The Bachelor is not Grazaidei’s first experience working with Jesse Palmer. He was a runner-up on season 20 of The Bachelorette, and was even featured on The Golden Bachelor as a referee for their pickleball tournament.

Though he has appeared on these shows before, now is Grazaidei’s limelight moment. He has certainly won over many viewers for his season within and way beyond his hometown. With the majority of this season’s episodes left to go, we’ll have to stay tuned to answer the question on everyone’s lips: Will Grazaidei find his doubles partner?

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