The “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro’s new book, Family Celebrations with the Cake Boss: Recipes for Get-Togethers Throughout the Year (November, 2013), discusses many memories such as Christmas in grandma’s basement and other holiday stories that involve food and pastries.
The star of the hit TLC series Cake Boss and Next Great Baker and author of the New York Times bestsellers Cake Boss and Baking with the Cake Boss, as well as Cooking Italian with the Cake Boss, Valastro is the owner of Carlo’s Bake Shop in Hoboken and a pastry factory in Jersey City (Lackawanna), in addition to retail locations in New York City and Westfield and Ridgewood, New Jersey—with more locations in the works.
COMMERCE caught up with the Cake Boss at his Ridgewood shop where he is bringing old-school neighborhood bakery delights and personal touches back to community life. Here are Buddy Valastro’s thoughts on his bakeries, expansion of his businesses, charity, family, success and his plans for the future.
Why a Bakery in Ridgewood Matters—“I grew up in Bergen County and always wanted to have a bakery in one of my favorite neighborhoods. We want to make everybody’s birthday cakes, pastries and holiday goodies. You’ll be able to come here and order your birthday or wedding cake, but it’s still my bakery, still under the Carlo’s umbrella. So you’re still going to get creativity, passion and our expertise.”
Bringing Back Neighborhood Bakeries—“These bakeries remind me of what life was like before I was the ‘Cake Boss.’ We were a local bakery for the neighborhood— everybody knew us and we knew everybody. We did birthday cakes, Christening cakes, Communion, Bat Mitzvahs. We grew up with the families throughout the years and then eventually made wedding cakes and cakes for celebrating new babies. I can already see that happening in Ridgewood.”
Building Community Ties—“I want to start opening more bakeries so we can really establish ties to communities. I love seeing the regulars come in and the staff knows exactly what coffee and pastry Craig wants, and it’s ready for him when he comes in. That’s really the whole experience I want our customers to have.”
A New Supply Chain—“Our factory in Jersey City makes the products and sends them to our bakeries so we’re able to bake it off at the store level. That way, it’s always fresh. We proof them, bake them and fill them, so that we can always have an optimal quality and a freshly made product in our bakeries. We also offer mail order from our factory all over the country and the world. That side of the business is still being developed and expanded.”
Bakery Best Practices—“I’m involved with everything from the baking to the business side of the house. I have a team of people around me, but I actually make more decisions than I have to, but that’s just part of my personality. I’m a perfectionist. If you have quality, that’s what’s going to keep…