Buddy "Bartolo" Valastro Senior
Buddy Senior was the well-loved patriarch of the Valastro family. Originally from Lipari, a small island to the north of Sicily, Italy, Buddy Sr. immigrated to America with his family when he was 13. Buddy Sr. came from a long line of bread bakers, but his dad started him on a new American dream. Not wishing for his son to work the long overnight hours of a bread baker, Buddy Sr.'s dad placed him into a pastry shop, Carlo's Bakery, to learn a new trade. At Carlo's Bakery, Buddy Sr. met and fell in love with the 12-year-old Mary Tubito. Buddy Sr. immediately declared to his mother, Grace, that young Mary would be his future wife, despite Mary's tender age. So, after patiently waiting five years, the couple finally married in 1965.
Buddy Sr. eventually bought Carlo's Bakery and moved the location to 95 Washington Street, where it resides today. Buddy is well remembered for his extreme generosity and kind heart. He gave to the community tirelessly until his untimely passing on a snowy March 21, 1994. According to the family, the groundskeeper was so moved by Buddy's memory that he decided to plant flowers in the family's yard despite the ground being covered in snow. The loyal gardener used a blow-dryer to melt away the snow so he could show his last respects by planting the flowers Buddy was so fond of.
Buddy Sr.'s legacy can be seen in the bakery he left behind, as well as the five children and 12 grandchildren who continue his quest to make Carlo's Bakery a household name.