|Full Name||Bartolo Valastro, Jr.|
|Age||46 years old|
|Birthday||March 3, 1977|
|Birthplace||Hoboken, New Jersey|
|Spouse||Lisa Valastro (m. 2001)|
|Children||Sofia, Buddy Jr., Marco, Carlo, and Marco|
|Social Media Followers||Facebook 10M, Instagram 2M|
Bartolo "Buddy" Valastro Jr., the charismatic Italian-American chef and star of the hit TLC show Cake Boss, has won over audiences with his big personality and incredible cake decorating talents. Let‘s take a closer look at how this master baker became a celebrity sensation and influential figure in the baking world.
Learning the Family Business
Born in Hoboken, New Jersey to Buddy Sr. and Mary Valastro, Buddy grew up helping his father run Carlo’s Bakery. Tragedy struck when Buddy Sr. passed away from cancer when Buddy was just 17. With determination and his family‘s support, a young Buddy stepped up to lead Carlo‘s Bakery and honor his father‘s legacy.
Together with his mother and four older sisters, Buddy modernized production, delivered custom cakes, and expanded the menu by adding his own Italian-inspired creations. His cannolis, lobster tails, and multi-tiered birthday cakes quickly gained word-of-mouth buzz. The bakery now ships nationwide and has over 15 locations across 5 states.
Rocketing to Fame on Cable TV
In 2009, TLC launched a reality show following Buddy and daily hijinks at Carlo‘s Bakery. Cake Boss became the channel‘s highest rated premiere with over 2 million viewers. Audiences were drawn in by Buddy‘s creativity, his silly family dynamics, and staff antics with characters like Cousin Anthony and Frankie "The Flame."
Capitalizing on his new celebrity power, Buddy went on to star in spinoffs like Kitchen Boss, Buddy‘s Family Vacation, Bakery Boss, and various holiday specials. He‘s since built an empire beyond Carlo‘s bakery, including cookbooks, branded baking products, and partnerships. With over 10 million Facebook followers and counting, the Baker Boss remains a pop culture fixture.
The Artistry of Cake Decorating
Buddy is considered one of the best in the cake decorating business, known for his innovative designs and incredible attention to detail. He‘s created everything from life-size NASCAR race cars to exact replicas of luxury watches.
Some of Buddy‘s notable cakes include:
- A Transformer robot that actually transformed
- A Great Gatsby inspired gown cake covered in edible pearls
- A fondant sculpture of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
- A working fountain cake for the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas
- A replica of a vintage Italian car as an anniversary gift
For Buddy, baking is an art form. He insists on being personally involved in planning every unique cake, constantly testing new baking and decorating methods.
Giving Back to the Community
Amidst his bustling career, Buddy makes giving back a priority. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Carlo’s Bakery provided food for hospital workers and first responders. Buddy also hosted events and donated custom cakes to support organizations like Make-A-Wish Foundation, Autism Speaks, and Boys & Girls Clubs.
After Hurricane Sandy hit his native Hoboken in 2012, Buddy helped raise over $100,000 in rebuilding efforts. He aims to inspire youth as well, making appearances at schools and special needs programs whenever possible.
What‘s Next for the Cake Boss?
As Buddy Valastro continues bringing joy through his hit shows and decadent Italian desserts, his fans eagerly await what he‘ll do next. Upcoming projects for the Baker Boss include a new baking competition show Buddy vs. Christmas premiering this holiday season. He also hints at plans for writing a memoir someday.
One thing‘s for certain – with his undeniable talent and business savvy, Buddy Valastro will continue delighting audiences with his sweet creations for years to come!