For several years now, TLC’s “Cake Boss” has been giving audiences an inside look at the day-to-day operations of the famous Carlo’s Bake Shop in Hoboken, New Jersey. At the helm of this successful food, business is Buddy Valastro, a cake extraordinaire who took over following the death of the family patriarch.
And as Buddy may tell you, running a business with your family can be quite complicated. As explained on the show’s official website, “He supervises a team that includes his mother, four older sisters and plenty of cousins, second cousins and brothers-in-law. When you're working with family on a daily basis, there is bound to be a lot of drama.”
Today, Carlo’s Bake Shop has grown immensely, expanding production to a bigger facility and opening other store locations. And while Buddy and his family are undoubtedly successful, you might be surprised to learn that there are some sketchy facts that the Cake Boss may not want fans to know. Check out what we found:
20 The lobster tails continue to be a struggle to make
As you may know, lobster tails are one of Carlo’s Bake Shop’s signature pastries. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that the bakery's employees are confident about making them perfectly every time. In fact, they are still quite a struggle to make.
During an interview, Nicole Valdes, who handles the bakery’s public relations, told Eater, “Buddy himself has said working with it has brought many a man to tears out of frustration.”
19 Some of its pastries may be unimpressive
On Trip Advisor, several visitors to Carlo’s Bake Shop disclosed their negative experiences. One wrote, “I wanted to taste [sic] the famous cannoli [sic]... What a waist [sic] of money. Tasteless filling and the crust was [sic] not that good.”
Another wrote, “Ate an eclair and a lobster tail. Both did not taste fresh at all - like they had been on the window for a week.”
18 Visitors say Carlo’s Bake Shop is overrated
Another review on Trip Advisor referred to the bakery as “extremely overrated.”
The review also said, “The cannoli was just totally DISGUSTING! Service-wise [sic] you could not say the staff are [sic] pleasant or friendly but I'm not sure they even get time as they are so busy. Being served definitely felt like being on a conveyor belt, no time to ask a question or anything, you had to have your order on the tip of your tongue.”
17 Its baked goods are made in a factory, not onsite
In 2016, blogger Heather of Life in Leggings once wrote about her experience touring the Carlo’s Bake Shop Lackawanna Cake Factory & Filming Studio in Jersey City.
According to her, “Everything seen in the bakeries is made in the factory and then shipped to the bakery locations to complete the final touches in-store.”
16 Its custom cakes might be inedible
In some cases, it seems that some of the cakes created by Buddy and his talented team tend to be inedible. This seemed to be the case when it came to the cake that the bakery had made for Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday.
According to ESPN, Chicago Cubs spokesperson Julian Green had acknowledged that the incredible cake was “mostly made up of non-edible material.” Meanwhile, the edible portion of the cake was left on display for a long time, so the team also decided not to serve it.
15 Carlo’s Bake Shop has had to close two more locations recently
Earlier this year, it was announced that Carlo’s Bake Shop would be closing two of its locations. These include the stores in Morristown and Ridgewood. As for the reason for closure, the bakery’s spokesperson, Valdes, told NJ Advance Media, “The leases at the two locations ended and the company chose not to renew.”
Prior to these closures, the company had also shut down other store locations.
14 Bakery employees complain about management
According to a review of one former customer service associate on Indeed, “Poor management. They do not respect set schedules and keep on changing them as they wish, the managers do not know how to manage hours. Do not care about their staff. There isn't [sic] even a place for the staff to take a break.”
Meanwhile, a former baker wrote, “Carlo's Bakery is so unorganized [sic] and they tend to put their foot right on the legal line. Such an unethical company and managers are so shady.”
13 Spotting Buddy in the original location can be tough
According to several reports and reviews of the bakery, it’s pretty rare to spot Buddy himself in the store’s locations. Perhaps, it’s because he’s quite busy running things from behind the scenes.
If you want to catch a glimpse of him, it may be best to come by when the camera crew is also around.
12 He was not a Cake Boss before he did the show
Back in 2015, Buddy spoke with Baker’s Journal where he revealed that he never really used the nickname Cake Boss before the show started. Instead, the show came up with his cocky nickname.
He also said, “I was skeptical at first. I didn't want to come off like a jerk — like I was better than everyone else — but it shows who I am in a true light.”
11 Buddy was sued for using the name Cake Boss
In 2010, word came out that Buddy got into some legal issues after he was sued over the use of his famous nickname. According to a report from NBC New York, Valastro and TLC’s parent company, Discovery Communications, became the subject of a complaint filed by Masters Software, Inc. Company owners said that they had been selling a business management program called “CakeBoss” since 2007 while Buddy shows first aired in 2009.
The two parties eventually entered a “confidential settlement agreement,” according to Master Software, Inc.’s lawyer.
10 Buddy once feuded with Duff Goldman
Some people may have thought it was just for show. But as it turns out, Buddy did have a feud with baker and Food Network star Duff Goldman.
During an interview with TV Insider, Goldman recalled his first meeting with the Cake Boss saying, “I remember I held the door open for him as he was bringing in a sheeter — this massive piece of equipment that rolls fondant for you — and I was making fun of him. Like, "Why are you bringing a sheeter to a cake competition? Just use a rolling pin!"
9 Claudio’s wedding in Italy was fake
During a previous season, there was an episode that featured Claudio, Buddy’s second cousin, getting married. For the occasion, Buddy, his brother-in-law Mauro, their families, and the late Mary Valastro had flown to Altamura, Italy.
However, according to Fame 10, one visitor to Carlo’s Bake Shop claimed, “I have been to Carlo’s Bakery (the bakery from Cake Boss). While there we learned that the “wedding” they were filming in Italy was completely faked. They never actually got married. Kind of ruined the experience for me.”
8 Buddy once fired his own sister
Sure, working with family can be tough and full of drama. However, it’s still quite rare for families to fire each other from a job. Well, that’s exactly what Buddy had done at one point.
In one episode of “Cake Boss,” Buddy decided that he and the bakery had enough with his sister Mary Sciarrone and her big mouth. And so, he decided to pull her aside to let her know that he has decided to fire her. Not to worry though, Sciarrone was eventually rehired.
7 Cousin Anthony once made some anti-immigrant remarks
If you’ve been following Buddy and his family throughout the entire season of “Cake Boss,” you’d most likely be familiar with Anthony “Cousin Anthony” Bellifemine. He was the guy who worked on cakes while playing pranks on Buddy and other bakery staff.
Following the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, Bellifemine took to Twitter referring to immigrants as “animals.” Despite the criticism, it seems that Bellifemine stuck to his rant.
6 Cousin Anthony made an abrupt exit
Bellifemine also shocked “Cake Boss” fans when he decided to leave the show at the end of season 6. By all accounts, it was an abrupt exit and Buddy even said that Bellifemine never talked to him in person before leaving.
After learning that Bellifemine suddenly moved with his family to Florida, Buddy remarked, “I put my heart into training this kid. To see him throw it away, after all these years, I don’t know man. I really want success for him.”
5 Buddy has mafia connections
As it turns out, it’s not just celebrities and other VIPs that Buddy runs with. Apparently, the Cake Boss also has got some mafia connections. When asked if he knew the Mafiosi during an interview, Buddy reportedly replied, “Absolutely. Everybody does.”
Other than these remarks, however, there have been no sightings of Buddy hanging out with known families.
4 Buddy was once arrested for DUI
In 2014, Buddy was arrested on DWI charges in Manhattan, New York. According to a report from NBC New York, Police stopped Buddy and his yellow Corvette near 10th Avenue after following him for a little while. He reportedly appeared “unsteady on his feet” the moment he stepped out of the vehicle.
His eyes were also bloodshot and his face appeared flushed. After failing a Breathalyzer test, Buddy was taken into custody.
3 During his arrest, Buddy bragged to cops about who he was
Even after failing a Breathalyzer test, it seems Buddy was confident that he wasn’t going to get into any actual trouble. During his arrest, Buddy had reportedly remarked, “I had a couple drinks. You can't arrest me! I'm the Cake Boss.”
According to the prosecutor, Buddy also insisted, “I'm a good guy. Can you just put me in a cab? I don’t have to be arrested, I’m not a bad guy.”
2 Buddy’s brother-in-law sexually assaulted a minor
As you may remember, Buddy’s brother-in-law, Remigio "Remy" Gonzalez, was arrested for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl. According to the arrest affidavit obtained by The New Jersey Star-Ledger, the arrest came after two detectives met with two witnesses who claim that Gonzalez admitted to assaulting the teen multiple times.
He has since been sentenced to nine years in prison.
1 Buddy was once accused of being transphobic
Unfortunately, it wasn’t just the DUI that landed Buddy in hot water. During an episode of “Cake Boss” in 2012, a transgender beauty named Carmen Carrera was seen flirting with Cousin Anthony and eventually, he asked for her number.
And then during an interview, Buddy remarked, “That’s a man, baby.” This offended Carrera who believed she “signed on to do this episode of Cake Boss to promote EQUALITY.”
Sources - Eater, Trip Advisor, Life in Leggings, ESPN, NJ Advance Media & The New Jersey Star-Ledger