There are many bosses in New Jersey. There’s The Boss Bruce Springsteen, Crime Boss James Cabella, Presidential Candidate Jeff Boss, and let’s not forget the Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra. Your boss is probably a Jersey Girl or Guy. Now you have a new boss, but this one gives away free desserts and gives bear hugs. Buddy Valastros of Carlo’s Bakery is your Cake Boss.
Perhaps you watch the reality show Cake Boss on TLC about Carlo’s Bakery and the family dynamics of baking on demand and running a busy bakery shop with his cuckoo for cocoa puffs siblings and in-laws. Or you might have been just a wee bit hooked on the competitive elimination show The Next Great Baker, where in addition to a cash purse the winner also gets a job offer to create at Carlo’s Bakery. I watch it all, and just the other day, I had the opportunity to meet Buddy.
The press conference took place in the new state of the art kitchen in their Lackawanna Facility where they do the baking and cooking for the TV series. The expansion was necessary following the enormous popularity of the Cake Boss television franchise. The crews just wrapped the second season of NGB in that very kitchen, which Buddy claims is “even bettah than the first season.” What’s even bettah than that? I’ll tell you – a free Carlo’s Bakery custom cake for your next big event!
I stood about three feet from Buddy, Mauro and Joey as they described their sweet partnership and promotion with Marriott. Book your event by Feb 29, 2012 at one of nine participating Marriotts and get a free Cake From Buddy! It’s that simple – it’s a cake walk. Participants will also get a free consultation (the $100 consult fee is waived), complimentary cake tasting, a behind-the-scenes tour of Buddy’s new bakery, an autographed photo from Buddy, and a coveted pass to the front of the line at the historic and heavily trafficked bakery in Hoboken. If you can’t make the trip to Hoboken they will do a consultation via Skype and overnight you samples.
This is a very tasty deal, which Marriott calls the Carlo’s Bakery Experience. “Anyone who has seen the show Cake Boss or has visited the Hoboken bakery knows that there is an hour’s-long wait to get inside.” says Larry Cassenti, Senior Marketing Manager at Marriott International. With this promotion, participants become VIPs. It makes a cake that can cost thousands of dollars accessible to anyone and everyone who books an event of any size at a participating Marriott. Terry Donahue, Catering Sales Manager at Bridgewater Marriott Hotel, explained, “Marriotts in NJ and PA do a lot of weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, corporate events and private parties. A key component is the cake. Who better to get a cake from than Carlo’s Bakery?”
Participants may choose from one of 24 designs for free, or upgrade to any of the 228 styles that Carlo’s Bakery offers for an added fee. This is the first promotion of this scale for the bakery, and they are keeping it local and small scale. This way they can ensure the personal touch and perfection that is expected. The show Cake Boss is syndicated in 180 countries, but to get the goods you need to come to New Jersey. They generally don’t ship their baked goods or deliver cakes outside of the tri-state metropolitan area because they want their products to be fresh. Buddy is one of those quality over quantity guys.
After the Q&A session Buddy cut a cake and passed around samples to taste. The cake redefines Red Velvet as you think you might know it. The cream cheese frosting was just beyond. I was happy to see that the red velvet/cream cheese combo was selected for the Marriott signature cake. It is decorated with red roses, his mom’s favorite flower. You can also have a corporate logo or a monogram adorned on the cake.
Weddings in particular hold a special place in Buddy’s heart. He spoke about helping his father in catering halls as a kid. Years of experience have provided an intuitive sense for designing a dream cake for a bride and groom and capturing the individuality and personality of the wedding. Buddy likes to ask about the bridal bouquet. “The type of flowers a bride selects says a lot about her personality. I ask her a few questions, we have a little “back & fohth” and then BOOM! It comes to me!” laughs Buddy as he hits his head like he just got a craving for V-8.
Be your own boss. Get the cake of your dreams. Visit Marriott’s website at Cake With Buddy to fulfill your event destiny. The only thing better than an event at a Marriott with a free Cake From Buddy would be if that other Boss from New Jersey were to make an appearance. If you can do that, I definitely want an invitation. That would be having your cake and eating it too for any respectable Jersey Girl.
Lauren Weiss blogs for Westfield Foodie and writes about food for The Alternative Press and JerseyBites.com. Contact her at email@example.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.