Binghamton University hosted TV’s bossiest baker to help film an episode of a TLC reality show that will air this evening.
“Cake Boss” star Buddy Valastro used Sodexo’s campus bakery in an episode of his new show, “Bakery Boss,” which follows Valastro as he helps struggling bakery owners. Tonight’s episode will air at 10 p.m. and will feature Baked Euphoria, a bakery in Endwell, N.Y.
To sweeten the deal, students from culinary groups on campus came to meet Valastro, and students, alumni and community members worked on the set for the show, according to Binghamton University spokesman Ryan Yarosh.
Kevin Hallagan, who graduated from BU last May, worked with Bakery Boss as a production assistant.
Hallagan, who majored in cinema at BU, said his main duties were to help decorate cakes and cupcakes and to assist with the bakery renovation. He said he learned a lot about baking, renovating and working long hours.
“I think the craziest thing I learned was either how long cakes take to make, or how easy it is to work around the clock when you’re busy,” Hallagan said. “I wish I had gotten to see more of the filming part or work with them a little bit, but it was still cool to see how many people work behind the scenes of this show and how crazy their hours are.”
Hallagan said his work was also mostly behind the scenes, and he doesn’t expect he’ll get much — if any — screen time tonight, but he still plans to tune in, and said his parents are “really set on watching it.”
Baked Euphoria owner Bonni Stacconi Phelps said the bakery, which opened in April 2009, received an email from TLC asking if they’d like to be considered for the show.
Stacconi Phelps said it was a lot of fun being on the show, but was emotional at times, especially when she was asked about her father, who is suffering from Parkinson’s disease. She also said it was stressful having to shut down the store and phones for a week during filming.
“I was afraid people were going to think we had closed,” she wrote in an email.
The process also shed new light on reality TV for Stacconi Phelps.
“We now know what goes on behind the scenes of ‘reality TV’ and know how much is real and what isn’t,” she wrote.
The bakery owner posted a message on the Baked Euphoria Facebook page thanking customers, employees, BU and local businesses that aided in the bakery’s renovations. She explained some of her reasons for participating in the show, including bringing attention to the business.
“I also wanted to do this because our area had suffered a great deal in the past few years from business shut-downs, layoffs, and of course the flooding,” Stacconi Phelps wrote. “I wanted to be able to show the entire country who we are and how proud I am to be a part of this beautiful area.”
Yarosh said the University’s role in the show was lending out its full-service bakery to the Bakery Boss crew.
“We were thrilled to host TLC and the ‘Cake Boss’ legend himself and we are really excited to see the Binghamton campus and our dining facilities showcased on primetime TV,” Yarosh said in a press release.