By Michele J. Kuhn
RED BANK – A new “boss” is coming to town.
It’s the Cake Boss, aka Buddy Valastro. He and his family will be locating the latest branch of their Carlo’s Bakery at 86 Broad St., where Ricky’s Candy, Cones & Chaos had been. The outlet will be the fourth for the104-year Hoboken bakery, which has branches already operating in Ridgewood and Westfield and one planned for Greenwich, Conn.
The location of a full-service bakery in Red Bank, where cakes, pastries, cookies and breads will be baked on premises, fits in with the company’s philosophy of locating in thriving, upscale downtowns.
“We’re really looking for those great downtowns where we can be part of the community, part of that environment,” said Adam Bourcier, chief brand officer for Carlo’s. “Red Bank is a great walking downtown. Obviously it’s a year-round town that will probably end up being our strongest summer store.
“We have no plans to go down the shore, if you will … (Red Bank) is a shore town without being a shore town,” he said. “It has the theater there… There are lots of great restaurants there. It really fits. When you look at Hoboken, Ridgewood, Westfield, a natural extension of that is Red Bank.”
Plans call for the 3,400-square foot store to be open “by the holidays” with the best-case scenario being Thanksgiving and worst case by Christmas. Though the manager has not yet been named, Carlo’s expects to employ 25 to 30 people in the new location, Bourcier said.
Representatives of the bakery were expected to drop off applications and floor plans to the borough on Thursday, Sept. 26, to obtain the necessary building permits. Because a bakeshop is already a permitted use in the location, no zoning or planning board approvals will be needed, Bourcier said.
The store will feature a “cake bar” where customers will be able to see bakers making the sweets that will fill the store’s glass-fronted display counters. “People will be able to see cakes and other baked good and pastries being brought to life right in front of their faces,” he said.
The longtime family business really got a boost and a national identity when it was first was featured in the TLC Network show Cake Boss in 2009. The show features Valastro and employees, many of whom are his family members, as they create fanciful and elaborate cakes for special occasions. Since the Cake Boss debuted, Valastro and Carlo’s has been the focus of other television shows and the business has grown to include its Lackawanna Cake Factory, the other downtown outlets and an
online presence where people can order baked good to be delivered across the country. Bourcier said, while the Red Bank location may occasionally appear on Cake Boss, it will not be regularly featured.
“It’s still a family owned business…It’s always been a busy bakery. Obviously, since the show premiered in 2009, things have changed, especially at the Hoboken location. It became much more of a tourist-type destination. A lot of people obviously come to New York City, and Hoboken is a 15 or 20 minute PATH ride away,” he said. “Especially during the summer when there are school breaks, we’ll have people there from Australia at times.”
Carlo’s also has a partnership with Norwegian Cruise Lines where they now have a bakery on one of the ships that goes out of New York.