Carlo's Bake Shop, commonly known as Carlo's Bakery and also known as Carlo's City Hall Bake Shop, is a bakery located at 95 Washington Street in Hoboken, New Jersey, opposite the City Hall. It is currently run by Buddy Valastro Jr. The bakery has gained public attention as the setting of the TLC television series, Cake Boss.
In 1910, Carlo's Bakery was founded by Carlo Guastaferro, and in 1964, it was purchased by Bartolo "Buddy" Valastro Sr. Bartolo "Buddy" Valastro Jr. currently runs the bakery, with help from his four older sisters, three brothers-in-law, and other assorted family members and friends. One notable employee was Sal Picinich, who began working at the bakery shortly after the Valastro family purchased it, and continued until his death on January 30, 2011.
The bakery rose to fame in April 2009 with the premiere of Cake Boss, a reality television series on TLC that depicts the staff of the Bake Shop creating elaborate custom-order novelty cakes. As of July 25, 2011, there have been a total of four seasons and 77 episodes of the show.
As a result of the popularity of Cake Boss, Carlo's Bakery is building a new factory at Lackawanna Center, a mixed industrial/retail complex now under construction in nearby Jersey City. Carlo's Bakery has leased space at the complex, which will be used for additional space to make specialty cakes, as well as the ability to make baked goods for shipment across the country. Currently, because of the limited space at the Hoboken location, Carlo's Bakery is unable to ship cakes beyond normal driving distance from the bakery; the bakery had conducted a limited trial internet sale of pies in October 2010, to test the viability of selling baked goods on the internet. When the Jersey City factory opens, there are plans to expand the Hoboken location to accommodate additional customers. The new factory also serves as the venue of Buddy's reality competition series, Next Great Baker, beginning with its second season.
On May 12, 2011, Carlo's Bakery opened its first branch location, called Cake Boss Cafe, at the Discovery Times Square Exposition at 226 West 44th Street in New York City's Times Square. This location offers Carlo's Bakery's smaller baked goods, as well as bakery and Cake Boss merchandise.
In January 2012, as a result of the attention that has been brought to the city of Hoboken by the shop and the TV series, the Hudson Reporter named Buddy Valastro Jr. as an honorable mention in its list of Hudson County's 50 most influential people.