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cake boss –a hoboken, nj food institution with much more than meets the eye

June 9, 2009

TLC slowly morphed from a learning channel of sorts (hence the “L” for learning and “C” for channel) to one of semi-baked reality and freak variety.  Jon & Kate, notice I left the kids out, fit nicely into both categories, but more on that on a later date.  Or not.

Anyway, word quickly spread that Carlo’s Bakery, a turn of the century Hoboken, NJ neighborhood icon of sorts run by 32 year old Buddy Valastro was getting its own reality show on TLC called Cake Boss.  Having patronized Carlo’s, just a few short blocks from my little brownstone apartment, I can personally attest to their awesome cakes (the taste, creativity, and appearance), Italian cookies, and other baked goods.  In fact, there’s never a time when the bakery is NOT busy which truly speaks volumes in such a food conscious area.

Okay, so on its surface its a show about an iconic family owned and operated bakery –not much going on there.  Sure, the cakes are beautiful, delicious, time consuming creations of art, but still.  However, throw in producer encouraged overacting, a loud, heavily Jersey accented, large supporting cast of family members, and a façade of ever tight deadlines and the show’s lines blur as it becomes less reality and more freak.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I guess.  But that’s not what I’m interested with nor concerned about here.

No, I’m focusing on the labor of love.  Having walked past Carlo’s everyday for the past 4+ years on my way to work (when I had a job, that is) I’d see Buddy and cast of characters running around, accepting deliveries at the most tender and late hours of the day, and driving cakes to God knows where –a true dedication to something they truly believe in.  I’m 100% convinced that if more people could/did find their true calling the world would be a much better, friendly, and laid back place.

No, I’m focusing on the neighborhood and community.  There’s never been a time when the old timer regulars weren’t in the bakery’s small sitting area drinking their coffee, eating their Italian cookies, and talking about, well, I don’t know.  Matlock?  No, this isn’t a bakery…this is a neighborhood and community institution, one that certainly gives more than it gets, one that’s getting the recognition it truly deserves.

And no, I’m focusing on giving back.  Buddy and company’s love for and dedication to Hoboken is obviously baked(!) into the show.  More importantly, however, is that in reality -real reality that is- they do give back.  They enjoy giving back.  It’s part of their mission to give back.

So please, dial the freak down and focus on what Buddy and company are truly about and truly accomplishing.

A neighborhood institution

Carlo's bakery -a neighborhood institution

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 9, 2009 2:32 pm

    I met one of my best clients at Carlo’s Bakery! I was getting some breakfast on my way to meeting a different client there in Hoboken and heard him saying he needed a website, gave him a card, and now it’s going on 5 years that he’s been a loyal customer. I love that place!

  2. June 18, 2009 7:37 pm

    Thanks for post. It’s really imformative stuff.
    I enjoy to browse foodnmore.wordpress.com.

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