By Berit Ollestad
Morristown is famous for George Washington, the Revolutionary War and the birth of the telegraph.
And now it’s one of the cake capitals of the world.
Buddy Valastro, television’s Cake Boss, opened his newest shop, Carlo’s Bakery, on Market Street on Thursday, with all the pomp and ceremony befitting a TV star.
Gov. Chris Christie, no doubt eager for a little sweet news, rubbed nonpartisan elbows with the Mayor at a ribbon-cutting that drew fans from far and wide. One family from Bridgewater waited in line for two hours to celebrate its 9-year-old’s birthday with Valastro, the King of Cupcakes, who promised to make Morristown a star.
“We are seen in 190 countries, by 1.5 million viewers and I’m going to make sure that everyone knows what an amazing community Morristown is,” said Valastro.
Photos by Berit Ollestad
At 3,700 square feet, the bakery beneath the Metropolitan luxury apartments is the largest of Valastro’s chain, and the closest to his new home in Montville.
“So, when my wife calls me and says she needs a cake, this will be the store I will more than likely stop by. I am generally in each of the shops at least once a week. But I have a feeling I’ll be in this location the most,” he said.
Valastro said Morristown topped his list of places for a new shop.
“We are so honored to be here. As I look out at all the people that have come out here to support us and to try my baked goods, I can’t help but think of my dad and how proud he would be of this moment,” he said.
Indeed, the excitement has been building since November, when Valastro announced he was coming.
Mayor Tim Dougherty, an old hand at ribbon-cuttings, paused before introducing the Governor to get a photo with the Cake Boss, “since these opportunities don’t come along that often.”
The event gave Governor Christie a break from the Bridgegate saga that has taken a big bite out of his approval ratings.
“I’d like to say this is about the only thing that I can get my entire family to attend. I can’t think of a better place than Morristown for Buddy to open up his latest bakery.
“My family and I spend a lot of time here in Morristown. It’s a great town! I would like to thank the Mayor here in town because if it weren’t for his great leadership this never would have happened,” said Christie, who lives up the road in Mendham.
If either political party wants to throw a party, there is plenty of room at Carlo’s, which has a spacious area for that purpose, where guests can have a little fun and decorate a cake under the careful instruction of one of Buddy Valastro’s understudies.
“We have an ‘open kitchen’ philosophy regarding how we construct our shops. We want people to have an opportunity to see how clean we are and that we use only the best ingredients in our baked goods,” said Valastro.
The foyer is spacious, too, to accommodate Cake Boss fans and tourists who are expected to become fixtures at the new location.
But Valastro also wants Greater Morristown residents to feel at home at Carlo’s.
“I really want people here in the community to think of us as the local neighborhood bakery. Just because we have a TV show, I don’t want people to think that all we have to offer are $10,000 cakes. We have something for everyone, even if someone just wants to come in for a $2 cupcake.”
And there should be some delicious crumbs for social service organizations such as the neighboring Market Street Mission, in the form of day-old baked goods.
“That is currently what we do at all of our other locations. We identify different organizations that we can partner up with and help to make a difference at,” said Valastro. “We always are looking for opportunities to give back to the community.”
MG Editor Kevin Coughlin contributed to this report.