The CAKE BOSS’ Bigger Slice

Buddy Valastro, the Cake Boss, was not Jersey's original Boss, but these days he's roaring down his own Thunder Road, paved in fondant...

Carlo’s Bakery, the Valastro family’s Hoboken business made famous by the TLC series Cake Boss, has recently opened branches in Ridgewood and Westfield. Now it is set to expand to Red Bank.

The shop will have a full-service party room for private gatherings, including children’s birthday parties.

“Red Bank has a rich history, from the Count Basie Theater to the Molly Pitcher Inn,” says Valastro. “We are looking forward to bringing Carlo’s Bakery to such a celebrated community.”

On Tuesday, Valastro’s fourth cookbook, Family Celebrations With The Cake Boss, will be published, covering a calendar year of holiday recipes and anecdotes.

Original owner Carlo Guastaffero opened the bake shop in 1910. Valastro’s father, Bartolo ‘Buddy’, Valastro Sr., took over the business in 1964. When he died in 1994, his wife, Mary, and their five children–Grace, Maddalena, Mary, Lisa and Buddy, Jr.–pitched in to keep the cakes coming.

Buddy, now 36, was 17 when his father died, but he had already spent years learning baking and cake decorating.

The TLC series came about after Valastro appeared on a Food Network challenge. TLC approached him about a show of his own.

“He literally took a camcorder and introduced his family to all the people at TLC, and the next day they called back,” says Marketing Director Adam Bourcier.

Valastro is now filming his new series, Bakery Boss, which debuts December 2nd. It shows him “going into struggling bakeries and turning them around,” says Bourcier.

Cake Boss premiered in 2009. In 2011, the family built a 55,000 square-foot factory in nearby Jersey City to keep up with demand.

The Cake Factory, as it’s called, is also home to The Kitchen, where aspiring bakers take classes from the staff. Upcoming events include two holiday-themed cookie decorating programs on November 30th and December 22nd. The two-hour ($125), hands-on classes are limited to 16 students.

The expanded kitchen also allowed Carlo’s to offer mail-order products like the 24-piece cannoli kit and 12-piece lobster claws. Buyers can watch online videos for instructions on baking and filling the pastries in their own kitchen for a shop-fresh experience.

SUZANNE ZIMMER LOWERY is a food writer, pastry chef and culinary instructor at a number of New Jersey cooking schools. Find out more about her at



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