'Cake Boss' flagship bakery to remodel but vows to stay true to its roots

Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:58pm EST
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By Peter Wolf

HOBOKEN, N.J. (Reuters) - By spring, the little New Jersey shop where the "Cake Boss" got his start will have a different look, but Buddy Valastro, the self-taught master baker behind the hit reality TV show, vows the renovated store will still have "icing in the walls."

"That's what I tell people," said Buddy, laughing. "The building's 200 years old and has always been a bakery." 

His business, known as Carlo's Bake Shop in Hoboken, doubles as the backdrop for "Cake Boss" on TLC, a cable show that has been beamed to some 2 billion people in 190 countries worldwide

On the show as in life, Buddy runs the family bakery, opened in 1910 and acquired by his father in 1964. There the Cake Boss directs his team in creating elaborate, over-the-top cakes, not to mention pastries, cookies and fudge, while balancing an ample helping of family drama.

Starting Feb. 17, Buddy's flagship shop, across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan, will close until early March for renovations, the bakery said on social media last week.

The announcement may have come as a disappointment to Buddy's fans. Legions of them travel from all over the world for the opportunity to come into Carlo's and buy some authentic Cake Boss sweets.

"We'll have new showcases, a fresh new look with an old world feel," Buddy explained to Reuters. "What I love about the plan is that there will be an open kitchen, so our customers can see our cakes come fresh out of the oven."

A recent early-afternoon visit by a reporter on what one employee called a slow day found about 20 customers in the store, and unlike busy times, there was no wait to get inside.   Continued...

Celebrity chef Bartolo "Buddy" Valastro, Jr. appears in court at the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse in New York in this November 13, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Jefferson Siegel