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Buddy Valastro

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Buddy Valastro
Valastro at the 2013 Jersey City Mayoral Inauguration
Bartolo Valastro, Jr.

(1977-03-03) March 3, 1977 (age 47)
  • Baker
  • television personality
  • businessman
Known forBaker, cake designer and host of Cake Boss
TelevisionCake Boss
TitleOwner of Carlo's Bakery, Buddy V's Events, The Boss Cafe, Pizza Cake, & Buddy V's Ristorante
SpouseLisa Valastro
Parent(s)Bartolo Valastro Sr. and Mary Valastro
Websitecarlosbakery.com cakehousemedia.com

Bartolo "Buddy" Valastro Jr.[1] (born March 3, 1977)[2] is an American baker, reality television personality, and businessman. He has taken his small, family-owned bake shop, Carlo's Bakery, and turned it into a baking and restaurant empire. Valastro is best known as the star of the reality television series Cake Boss, which ran on the TLC cable channel from April 2009 until April 2020. He has also starred in Next Great Baker (2010), Kitchen Boss (2011), Buddy's Bakery Rescue (2013), Bake You Rich (2013), Bakery Boss (2013), Buddy vs. Duff (2019), Buddy vs. Christmas (2020) Buddy Valastro's Cake Dynasty (2023-present) and Legends of The Fork (2023-present)

Early life[edit]

Valastro was born in Hoboken. He grew up there[3] and in Little Ferry, New Jersey.[4][5] His mother, Mary Tubito (1948 - 2017) was born in Altamura, Italy. She is the daughter of Italian immigrants Nicola and Maddalena Tubito. They moved to New Jersey when she was six years old.[6][7] His father, Buddy Sr., was born in Lipari, Italy. Valastro grew up with four older sisters: Grace, Mary, Maddalena and Lisa.[8]

He attended Ridgefield Park High School and took baking courses at the Bergen County Technical High School, Teterboro Campus.[9]

Valastro began working at his family's business, Carlo's Bakery at age 11, alongside his father. When his father died in 1994, Valastro was 17 and began to take over the family business.[10] In the fifth episode of the first season of Cake Dynasty, he explains that his oldest son, known as Junior, is the first "Buddy Valastro" to graduate from high school.[11]


Buddy Valastro (right), General Raymond T. Odierno, and other members of the United States Army in Times Square cutting a cake to celebrate the Army's 238th birthday in 2012

Valastro grew the family bakery business into designer wedding cakes that were featured in bridal magazines. Through that exposure he was asked to compete in four Food Network Challenge cake competitions. After losing his first three battles, he took the top prize of $10,000 on “battle of the brides.” He then pitched a reality show about life at Carlo's, where he worked with his mother, sister and various in-laws and cousins. TLC picked up the show in 2009.[12]

In 2010 he authored his first book, Cake Boss, Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia. He followed it up with other books, including, Baking with the Cake Boss: 100 of Buddy’s Best Recipes and Decorating Secrets, Cooking Italian with the Cake Boss: Family Favorites as Only Buddy Can Serve Them Up and Family Celebrations with the Cake Boss.[12]

In January 2012, as a result of the attention that the shop and the TV series had brought to the city of Hoboken, the Hudson Reporter named Valastro as an honorable mention in its list of Hudson County's 50 most influential people.[13] He was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2017 and was introduced by Yankees' pitcher Mariano Rivera. At the ceremony Valastro said, "I am damn proud to be from this state."[14]

Carlo's Bakery once had seven locations in New Jersey: Hoboken, Marlton, Morristown, Red Bank, Ridgewood, Wayne, and Westfield. Only the Hoboken and Marlton locations are operating as of December 2023. There are also bakeries in New York City; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Uncasville, Connecticut; Orlando, Florida; Las Vegas; San Antonio, Texas, and Bloomington, Minnesota. There previously were stores in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Westbury, New York; The Woodlands, Texas, and São Paulo, Brazil.[15] The Lackawanna Center in Jersey City, located less than a mile from the original Hoboken shop, serves as the corporate office for the business and is used as additional space to create wedding and specialty cakes, and to bake specialty baked goods for shipment across the country.

In 2013 he opened Buddy V's Ristorante, an Italian restaurant at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.[16] His restaurant chain has grown in the city to include PizzaCake at Harrah's, and Buddy's Jersey Eats and The Boss Cafe at The Linq.[17]

Valastro launched an event planning and catering company, Buddy V's Events, in June 2014.

In 2016 Valastro partnered with Whole Earth Sweetener Co. on the campaign "Rethink Sweet." The company said Valastro would serve as brand ambassador for a "new line of zero- and lower-calorie sweeteners, and will work to help his fans make healthy lifestyle choices", and provide recipes using the product.[18]

In 2018 Valastro partnered with The Pound Bakery, a pet treat manufacturing company to redesign and launch a new line of pet treats. "We wanted to create palatable treats for dogs that are inspired by classic Italian entrees and desserts," said Lexie Berglund, President of The Pound Bakery.[19] Buddy also worked with several other companies to launch a full line of ready-to-use fondant, buttercream icing, and Italian Biscotti cookies under the new brand name Buddy Valastro Foods in 2018.

In 2019, Valastro launched "cake ATMs" - slices of cake sold through high-tech refrigerated vending machines in Las Vegas and Toronto.[20][21] Dozens of machines are now located in Canada and the US, primarily in Florida, Las Vegas and New Jersey.[22]

In 2023 he moved to A&E cable network and launched Cake Dynasty, which focuses on his children joining the business, and Legends of the Fork, which visits restaurants around the country.[23]


Valastro, a supporter of the Special Olympics, baked a commemorative cake for the 2011 announcement that the 2014 Special Olympics USA National Games would be held in New Jersey.[24]

He has granted hundreds of sick children their wish to bake with him as part of "Make-A-Wish."[25]

Personal life[edit]

Buddy and Elisabetta "Lisa" Valastro (née Belgiovine) married on October 14, 2001.[26] Until 2014, Valastro resided in East Hanover Township, New Jersey, with their four children: Sofia, Bartolo "Buddy" III, Marco, and Carlo. As of 2014, he has resided in Montville, New Jersey.

His stepfather is Sergio Piccinch. His four older sisters and their husbands appear frequently in his television shows: Grace and Joey Faugno, Maddalena and Mauro Castano, Mary and Joe Sciarrone, and Lisa Valastro.[27] Lisa's former husband, Remy Gonzalez, left the show after his arrest for sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl in 2010. He was sentenced to nine years in prison for the assault in 2012.[28][29]

His brother-in-law, Maurizio Belgiovine, is the director of operations at Carlo's Bakery.[30]

On November 13, 2014, Valastro was arrested for driving while intoxicated. His driver's license was suspended for 90 days, and he paid a $300 fine.[31]

In September 2020, Valastro had his right (dominant) hand impaled by a pinsetter at his home bowling alley. His sons and other family members rescued him by cutting him out of the machine.[32] He underwent two emergency surgeries[33] and several subsequent surgeries. He said in November 2023 that he has gotten back about 95% of the strength in his hand.[23]


Valastro supported and campaigned for Republican Governor Chris Christie in his 2013 re-election bid, and in 2014 baked his birthday cake.[34] He also endorsed Christie's 2016 presidential campaign.[35]



Year Title Role Notes
2007 Food Network Challenge Guest mentor Episode: "Battle of the Brides"[7]
2009–2020 Cake Boss Host
2010–2014 Next Great Baker Host / Judge
2014 Next Great Baker: Latin America Host / Judge
2011–2012 Kitchen Boss Host
2013–2014 Buddy's Bakery Rescue
2015 The Apprentice Guest judge Episode: "May the Gods of Good Pies Be with Us"
2015–2018 Batalha dos Confeiteiros Host / Judge
2016 Batalha dos Cozinheiros
Buddy's Family Vacation Host
Bakers vs. Fakers
2017 Dancing with the Stars Brazil Judge Christmas special
2018–present Buddy's Big Bakedown Host
2018 Impractical Jokers Himself Episode: "Pulling the Rug"
2019 Buddy vs. Duff Lost to Duff 258-254
2019 Bake You Rich Host / Judge
2019 Beat Bobby Flay Guest Judge Episode: "Grapes of Wrath"
2020 Beat Bobby Flay Contestant Episode: "No Cake Walk". He challenged Bobby with his signature Multi-Layered Cake. He also won that challenge.
2020 Nickelodeon's Unfiltered Himself Episode: "Avocado Toasted Piñatas!"
2023-present Legends of The Fork Host
2023–present Buddy Valastro's Cake Dynasty Himself Spinoff of Cake Boss

As producer[edit]

Buddy Valastro walking onstage waving to fans at a cake fair in Orlando, Florida, 2017
Year Title Notes
2010–2012 Next Great Baker 6 episodes
2011–2012 Kitchen Boss All episodes
2015–2018 Batalha dos Confeiteiros
2016 Batalha dos Cozinheiros
Cake Boss 8 episodes
Cooks vs. Cons 1 episode
Bakers vs. Fakers All episodes
2023-present Legends of The Fork All episodes

In popular culture[edit]

Comedian Paul F. Tompkins plays a parody of Buddy Valastro on the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast and the IFC TV show.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McKinley, James C. Jr. (December 1, 2014). "'Cake Boss' Star Pleads Guilty to D.W.I. Charge". The New York Times. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  2. ^ "UPI Almanac for Tuesday, March 3, 2020". United Press International. March 3, 2020. Archived from the original on March 3, 2020. Retrieved September 23, 2020. …celebrity baker Buddy Valastro in 1977 (age 43)
  3. ^ Valastro, Buddy (2010). "About the Author". Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia. Atria Books. p. 256. ISBN 978-1-4391-8351-9. Buddy Valastro is an accomplished fourth-generation baker born in Hoboken, New Jersey
  4. ^ "The Cake Boss returns to Little Ferry". NorthJersey.com. May 7, 2010. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015. Retrieved November 14, 2014. Cake Boss Buddy Valastro returned to Little Ferry.... Valastro, who grew up in town....
  5. ^ "Buddy Valastro". TLC. Archived from the original on December 3, 2018. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  6. ^ "Il boss delle torte arriva ad Altamura" (in Italian). 14 May 2016.
  7. ^ a b Smith, Dustin (2009-03-25). "TLC Takes the Cake With Buddy Valastro" (Press release). Discovery Press Web. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  8. ^ Brunati, Bryan (April 12, 2019). "One Happy Bunch: A Guide to 'Cake Boss' Star Buddy Valastro's Wife, Kids and Family". Closer Weekly. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  9. ^ Valastro, Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia, p. 81: "When I was sixteen, I returned to Ridgefield Park Junior Senior High School, which had a vocational program as well; I'd take academic classes in the morning, then hop on a bus to Teterboro High School for my afternoon baking classes."
  10. ^ "'Cake Boss' Buddy Valastro adds a layer to TV/bakery empire with Times Square cafe". Daily News. New York City. Archived from the original on September 9, 2018. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
  11. ^ "Watch Buddy Valastro's Cake Dynasty Season 1 Episode 5". A&E. Retrieved 2023-12-11.
  12. ^ a b "Buddy Valastro". www.venetianlasvegas.com. Retrieved 2023-12-10.
  13. ^ "They've got the power". The Hudson Reporter. January 11, 2012.
  14. ^ "Buddy Valastro". New Jersey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2023-12-10.
  15. ^ bakeshop.carlosbakery.com/contact-us
  16. ^ Buddy V celebrates 10 anniversary of Buddy V's Ristorante on Las Vegas Strip, retrieved 2023-12-10
  17. ^ "Buddy V Brands". Buddy V's Restaurants. Retrieved 2023-12-10.
  18. ^ "Celebrity Baker Buddy Valastro Partners with Whole Earth Sweetener Co" (Press release). Whole Earth Sweetener Co. September 13, 2016. Archived from the original on September 25, 2019. Retrieved September 25, 2019 – via FSR.
  19. ^ "Buddy Valastro Pets Launches Treats with The Pound Bakery". petbusiness.com. 6 July 2018. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  20. ^ "Cake Boss plans to expand with more vending machines in Toronto". www.blogto.com. Retrieved 2023-12-10.
  21. ^ Martin, Bradley (2019-11-26). "Preview Buddy Valastro's Cake Vending Machine Headed to the Strip". Eater Vegas. Retrieved 2023-12-10.
  22. ^ "Cake Boss machines expand in New Jersey". www.vendingtimes.com. 2022-11-30. Retrieved 2023-12-10.
  23. ^ a b Aversa, Ralphie (November 10, 2023). "'Cake Boss' Buddy Valastro returns to TV with two new shows, update on injured hand". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2023-12-10.
  24. ^ Brooks, Jed (March 15, 2011). "It is official! New Jersey's hosting the 2014 USA National Games" (Press release). Special Olympics official blog. Archived from the original on September 26, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  25. ^ "Children have their wish granted, bake with New Jersey Cake Boss". News 12 - New Jersey. Retrieved 2023-12-10.
  26. ^ Triggs, Charlotte (September 26, 2011). "Buddy Valastro Proposes to His Wife – Again". People. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  27. ^ "Mary Valastro-Piccinch Obituary (1948 - 2017) - Hoboken, NJ - The Record/Herald News". Legacy.com. Retrieved 2023-12-11.
  28. ^ "Remy Gonzalez, "Cake Boss" Brother-in-Law, Charged with Sexually Assaulting Jersey Teen - CBS News". www.cbsnews.com. 2010-08-26. Retrieved 2023-12-11.
  29. ^ Horowitz, Ben (2012-05-23). "Former 'Cake Boss' cast member gets 9 years in prison for sexually assaulting girl". nj.com. Retrieved 2023-12-11.
  30. ^ "Maurizio Belgiovine". LinkedIn.com. Retrieved December 11, 2023.
  31. ^ Moore, Tina; Jacobs, Shayna; Siemaszko, Corky (November 13, 2014). "'Cake Boss' star Buddy Valastro tried to charm NYPD out of drunk dui driving charge: prosecutors". Daily News. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  32. ^ Zurita, Anthony. "'Cake Boss' Buddy Valastro describes his bloody hand injury: 'It just blew out half of my hand'". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2020-09-30.
  33. ^ Zurita, Anthony (29 September 2020). "'It blew out half of my hand': Buddy 'Cake Boss' Valastro describes gruesome hand injury". North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  34. ^ Bonamo, Mark (September 4, 2014). "NJ GOP gets fundraising solicitation from Cake Boss for Christie's birthday cake". The New York Observer. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  35. ^ Axelrod, Joshua (February 8, 2016). "'Cake Boss' star endorses Christie". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved October 13, 2021.

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