Bartolo "Buddy" Valastro Jr. (born March 3, 1977) is an American baker and reality television personality of Italian heritage. He is the owner of Carlo's Bakery, as well as the face of Buddy V's Ristorante. Valastro is best known as the star of the reality television series Cake Boss, which premiered in April 2009. He has also starred in Kitchen Boss (2011), Next Great Baker (2010), and Buddy's Bakery Rescue (2013).
Valastro was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, and grew up there and in Little Ferry, New Jersey. His mother was born in Altamura, Italy, and is the daughter of Italian-American immigrants who moved to New Jersey when she was six years old. His father, Buddy Sr was born in Lipari, Italy. Valastro grew up with four sisters: Grace, Mary, Maddalena and Lisa.
He attended Ridgefield Park High School and took baking courses at the Bergen County Technical High School, Teterboro Campus.
Valastro began working at his family's business, Carlo's Bakery at age 11, alongside his father. When Valastro's father died in 1994, when Valastro was 17, and Valastro took over the family business.
Valastro is the owner and head baker of Carlo's Bakery, the bakery featured on the TLC show Cake Boss. Carlo's has since opened 17 more bakeries due to the popularity of the show. 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.
Carlo's Bakery has seven locations in New Jersey—Hoboken, Marlton, Morristown, Red Bank, Ridgewood, Wayne, and Westfield. Outside of New Jersey, the bakery operates locations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Westbury and New York, New York; Orlando, Florida; Frisco, Dallas, and The Woodlands, Texas; São Paulo, Brazil; Uncasville, Connecticut; Las Vegas and most recently in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Lackawanna Factory in nearby Jersey City 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.
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", as as provide recipes using the product.
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. 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.
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.
Until 2014, Valastro resided in East Hanover Township, New Jersey, with his wife Lisa and four children: Sofia Valastro, Bartolo "Buddy" Valastro III, Marco Valastro, and Carlo Valastro. He has four sisters and a stepfather, Sergio. His brother in law is Maurizio Belgiovine. As of 2014, he resided in Montville, New Jersey. On 13 November 2014, Valastro was arrested for driving while intoxicated. His driver's license was suspended for 90 days and he paid a $300 fine.
|2007||Food Network Challenge||Guest mentor||Episode: "Battle of the Brides"|
|2010–2014||Next Great Baker||Host / Judge|
|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–present||Bake You Rich||Host / Judge|
|2020||Nickelodeon's Unfiltered||Himself||Episode: "Avocado Toasted Piñatas!"|
|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|
In popular culture
Comedian Paul F. Tompkins plays a parody of Buddy Valastro on the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast and the IFC TV show.