My sweet few moments at Carlos Bakery will be a memory I will never forget. It cost me $19.50 for a round trip ticket to and from my hotel, a 10 block walk (I got off at the wrong stop), and $8.50 for my prized pastries!
I arrived at Carlos Bakery at about 8:00 am on a hot humid Wednesday morning. There was already a line of about 50 or so people (they open at 7:00 am). Everyone in line seemed to be in good spirits as we all waited excitedly to enter the maroon and gold bakery. A father and daughter left the bakery all bouncy and bubbly with their white box secured with the red and white striped string. The father announced to all that was waiting that Buddy was in the bakery. We all seemed to smile a little wider with excitement. As I waited patiently in line (everyone in line had to wait on the far side of the sidewalk to let the locals pass by). I noticed a homeless man walk up to the bakery door, open it and spoke to the doorman. He then closed the door, and stood outside to the side of the door. What happened next blew my mind. A few minutes later, the doorman opened the door and handed the homeless man a cup of coffee (I am thinking OMG!). Here we are at a now famous bakery that has just opened its doors for the day and already they have a waiting line of an hour or so long and the establishment still takes the time to help the less fortunate. How awesome is that! I was truly blessed by the simple moment of what I had just witnessed. Once inside, the bakery is a very cozy place that can pack in about 30 people.
As I was drooling over all the pastries to pick from, I was blessed yet again by another simple moment. Madeline Castano, Buddy's sister was behind the counter helping with all the orders. Now this bakery is busting at the seams with customers and everyone behind the counter is rushing around helping everyone as quickly as they humanly can. I noticed a bunch of kids asking Madeline a zillion questions about the bakery and Buddy. Madeline was filling a customer's order and answering the children's questions as best she could. I didn't hear any of the questions, but I noticed Madeline had finished the customer's order and walk over to the children and their family and took the time to sign autographs and take pictures with them. She talked with them as if they were the only customer in the store. They had her undivided attention. All this took only a matter of moments but was a simple act of kindness that this family will never forget and neither will I. Such a gift this visit was and I hadn't even tasted my prized cannoli purchase! Even if the cannoli doesn't meet my taste bud expectations (I have no doubt that it will be delicious!), I wouldn't have traded this last hour and a half of blessings in for any cupcake or Italian pastry. I knew from the first episode of Cake Boss that the Valastro family were very special and now I know why. I wish them years of happiness and success.