With a single serving size weighing in at a hefty 330 calories, there‚Äôs a good chance some of the thousands of Rhode Islanders who stopped by Kennedy Plaza Wednesday to receive a complimentary cake from Cake Boss Buddy Valastro will be feeling some remorse today and working a little extra to burn off the calories.
Or if you‚Äôre Dennis Hoag of Central Falls you‚Äôre planning to have a slice for breakfast and maybe another for lunch.
‚ÄúNot bad,‚ÄĚ Hoag says as he licked a dab of frosting from his finger under a shade tree in nearby Burnside Park.
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Cake Boss line of cakes being available at BJ's Wholesale Club, Valastro, star of the TLC show ‚ÄúCake Boss,‚ÄĚ was at the Providence Rink at the Bank of America City Center giving away 10,000 free ‚ÄúCake Boss‚ÄĚ cakes to his fans ‚ÄĒ or to anyone who just happened to be passing through Kennedy Plaza. Valastro was also on hand for fan photos for about two hours during the day-long event.
Described on the packaging as ‚Äúmoist yellow and velvety chocolate cake layers married together by an indulgent fudge filling,‚ÄĚ the frozen boxed 10-inch cakes were distributed under a massive canopy by dozens of employees of Dawn Food Products, Inc., a family-owned bakery that makes the cakes based on Valastro‚Äôs personal recipes.
The ‚ÄúCake Boss‚ÄĚ cake line has seven kinds of butter cream cakes, four kinds of cupcakes and two kinds of fondant cakes.
On Wednesday, fans were able to get their cakes by waiting in a line that snaked all the way through 14,000-square-foot rink, but it was a line that moved fast despite the huge number of people.
‚ÄúBefore we even opened we had a huge line of people waiting, but since then there‚Äôs been a great flow and the line is moving smoothly,‚ÄĚ said Joe Bushetto of Dawn Food Products, which distributes the cakes to BJ‚Äôs Wholesale Club ‚ÄĒ the first retailer to carry the cakes.
In the fall, BJ's Wholesale will be launching the sale of ‚ÄúCake Boss‚ÄĚ cupcakes.
‚ÄúCake Boss cakes are made with high quality ingredients from Dawn Foods and are based on Buddy's personal recipes,‚ÄĚ says Bushetto.
In back of the canopy-covered tables where the cakes were being passed out, other Dawn Food Products employees were busy opening hundreds of boxes of cakes (four cakes per box) stacked on pallets delivered throughout the day by truck.
Like so many others, Hoag was walking to work minding his own business when he started noticing one person after another pass him by with a cake in their hands.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve never seen the ‚ÄúCake Boss‚ÄĚ show, but his cakes taste pretty good,‚ÄĚ he said.
Brian Dockray, a paralegal from Cranston, was on his way to work and also noticed the commotion.
‚ÄúThere were people with cakes everywhere,‚ÄĚ he says. ‚ÄúI had no idea what was going until I got there and saw that it was from that TV show.‚ÄĚ
Joseph Fiyod of Providence said he waited in line to get a cake so he could share it with his grandchildren, while Raisa Edwards decided to stop by and grab one before her shift at Cilantro Mexican Grill on Weybosset Street.
But it wasn‚Äôt the cake as much as it was the chance to shake hands with Valastro that got Mary Celletti out of bed at 3 a.m. She made the trip with her daughter, Kerri Hall, and her two children, who are all fans of the show.
The show follows the operations of Carlo‚Äôs Bakery, a family-owned business in Hoboken, N.J., owned and operated by siblings Buddy Valastro (to whom the series' title refers), Lisa Valastro, Maddalena Castano, Grace Faugno and Mary Sciarrone. The show focuses on how they make their cakes, and the interpersonal relationships among the various family members and other employees who work at the shop.
But Buddy doesn‚Äôt stop there. The TLC TV network recently sent out a casting call seeking a bakery that Buddy can ‚Äúwhip into shape‚ÄĚ for the reality show ‚ÄúBakery Boss.‚ÄĚ The show is looking for ‚Äú a bakery in serious need of help and sends interested business owners to a website www.bakerybosscasting.com, for more information. A quick check of the website reveals numerous comments from fans, those who bake as a hobby and those who own struggling bakeries seeking Buddy‚Äôs golden touch.
Some of the messages on the site are similiar to this: ‚ÄúHi Buddy! My name is Chelsey and I'm from a small rural community in eastern Ill. I am interested in having my very own bakery ...‚ÄĚ Or, ‚ÄúI have made over 1,000 cakes. I don't take pictures any more. Would like to own my business doing cakes. Need advise as to college courses you would recommend for me ...‚ÄĚ
However, it was the ‚ÄúCake Boss‚ÄĚ fans in Providence who were able to see Buddy face to face on Wednesday.
After getting their cakes, Celletti and Hall were the third in line by 5:30 a.m. for the chance to meet the ‚ÄúCake Boss‚ÄĚ himself who arrived about mid-morning to pose for photos and sign autographs.
‚ÄúWe love him,‚ÄĚ says Celletti. ‚ÄúHe‚Äô a phenomenal cake maker and the Italian family dynamic on the show is something we can relate to being Italians ourselves.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs pretty exciting because he‚Äôs a celebrity and we really like the show,‚ÄĚ says Hall. ‚ÄúNot to mention we got some free cake.‚ÄĚ