On “Bakery Boss,” the Monday TLC series currently in its first season, Buddy Valastro tries to rescue bakeries teetering on the brink of disaster, but sometimes that means helping the owners in spite of themselves.
“It’s funny, but think about it: At the end of the day, does anybody really like to hear what is wrong with them? If I came into your office and said, ‘You’re not doing this right; you need to do it this way,’ after a while you’d be thinking, ‘I really want to kill this guy,’ ” Valastro tells Zap2it. “Realistically, though, I have to look at the situation as an outsider and try to figure out what is really going wrong. Whether you like me or not is irrelevant.”
In many cases, lack of organization rears its head with the struggling businesses, but Valastro says he’s encountered a host of other problems as well.
“There was the 100-year-old bakery that just didn’t want to change and adapt to the times, and you had people who had made good cupcakes for bake sales and thought they could just quit their job, take out a triple mortgage on their home and open a bakery,” he says. “The spectrum of problems is so wide it’s not even funny. A lot of them, believe it or not, were buying a lot of baked goods from other vendors and then trying to resell them. Basically, they were buying crap and not getting a good profit margin on it. I was like, ‘Come on, make it here, from scratch, the old-fashioned way.’ “
Valastro says he’s been wanting to do a show like ‘Bakery Boss” for about three years, but his commitments to other shows — including the hit series “Cake Boss,” which returns for a new TLC season on Monday, Dec. 30 — made that impossible.
Did you get yet any requests from bakeries that were too far gone to save?
“Unfortunately, yeah. We had an overwhelming response, and we found the ones that we thought we could help, but some of them were dealing with economic factors or were just too far gone to be savable.”
What can “Cake Boss” fans look forward to in this new season?
“You’ll be seeing the struggle of me trying to grow my bakeries and opening more. You see us trying to make a 15-foot alligator cake with a mouth that opens. There are some fun pranks and good stuff coming up and some more news about my mom and her health. Thank God, she’s doing a little better.”
What are your favorite holiday decorations?
“The ones my children made in school. I still remember the very first ornament my daughter Sofia made, and how proud I was of it. We still put it on the tree every year.”
Are you making any New Year’s resolutions?
“I always just try to be a better person every year, and I’ll probably go on a diet, which will last about a week. That’s about it.”