Does a family that bakes together, stay together? That certainly seems to be the Valastro family’s recipe for happiness and success! At the head of a thriving bakery business is Buddy Valastro, also known as the Cake Boss. His growing empire has expanded to more than half a dozen bake shops—including the original, Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey. He also has a line of bakeware, a growing line of baking products, and a popular TV reality show, Cake Boss, which airs on TLC. One thing is for sure: The way to the top is sweet!
May 14 turned out to be a family affair when TIME For Kids caught up with Valastro and his famiglia—his wife, Lisa, and their four children—for a night of cake decorating at the Cake Boss Café, in New York City. With pastries, cupcakes, fondant, frosting, and sprinkles on hand, the evening was a dream for any child or grown-up with a sweet tooth.
The event started with a few words from Valastro. “Whether you are baking in the kitchen or watching Cake Boss, we know we are bringing families together and that really touches my heart,” he said. That same thought inspired his Cake Boss-branded line of bakeware, baking accessories, and cake-decorating products. Baking fanatics can easily decorate cakes like pros at home with loved ones and friends. To find a store near you that sells Cake Boss baking products, visit cakebosscakes.com.
It was clear at the demonstration that baking at the Valastro household is routine. His kids decorated cupcakes and gave tips to attendees like they were trained professionals. Cake Boss himself made a minion from Despicable Me out of icing. The decorated cupcake was for his youngest son, Carlo, 3.
For those unfamiliar with Valastro, his journey started with a promise he made to his dad at age 16 to one day make Carlo’s Bakery a household name. But he never thought the bakery would become such a huge success. People travel to Hoboken and line up for hours outside of Carlo’s Bakery to buy his delicious cakes, cannoli, lobster tails, and other baked goods—and to catch a glimpse of the baker and his family. “I just want to make my dad and family proud,” he told TFK.
He’s the Boss
Throughout his career, Valastro has made some elaborate cakes, driven by his fun and creative personality. They range from six- to 10-feet tall and contain many flavors. Some involve explosives and fire coming out of them. To this date, he ranks a Transformers cake as his favorite and a Nascar-themed cake as the hardest to execute. Eye-popping cakes like these are what helped him earn a one-way ticket to fame.
When talking about the origin of his hit TLC reality show, Cake Boss, he said, “TLC wanted a show about cakes and a bakery. They said the show would follow me around, and I thought it’d be good for business.”
While that certainly turned out to be true, Buddy went on to say he initially had doubts about the name. “Actually, I didn't want people to think I’m a snob,” he said. He wanted a name that was “more subtle, but now I think it’s the best name ever.”
His many fans would agree. The show has finished airing its sixth season and filming for the seventh will start soon. There is no sign of slowing down for this hard-working, family-oriented baker who always pulls through a challenge and finishes with a sweet taste in his mouth.