Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro has paid a heartbreaking tribute to his dad and shared childhood photos of the pair from his years growing up.

The TV star, who shot to fame with his incredible masterpieces made from cake and pastries, has been entertaining the world for decades. He and his sisters came together to ensure their New Jersey store, Carlo’s Bakery, became an international success.

Cake Boss first hit our screens on TLC in 2009, and over the past 14 years, the Valastro family has shared their lives with fans, including the death of Buddy’s dad.

Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro’s tribute to his dad

When the reality was 17 years old, years before TV fame, he tragically lost his father. The death of Buddy Valastro’s dad affected the entire family, and it led to the teenager becoming the man of the house to take care of his family.

Bartolo Valastro Sr died in 1994 following a battle with lung cancer, leaving his loved ones in shock since they first heard the diagnosis.

Buddy penned on Instagram on New Year’s Day on what would had been his birthday: “Life just isn’t the same without you… You’re in my thoughts every day and that’s how it will always be.

“Today, I lean on all the great memories we have with you. You’re up in heaven now, but you’ll always be with me. Happy birthday Dad, missing you today and always, I love you.”

The foodie also shared photos from his childhood and as a teenager as he worked at his dad’s bakery. We can see Buddy Sr working on gorgeous cakes in the shop, and teaching his son all he knew about baking. He then shared a sweet black and white photo of both his parents when they were younger.

Buddy’s dad died just weeks after being told he had cancer

Buddy told Guideposts in 2011: “Dad got lung cancer. It was my seventeenth birthday and I was standing by his hospital bedside with Mama when he told us the diagnosis. We were all in a state of shock. Beyond shock.

“Then Mama whispered, ‘what are we going to do?'”

Even though he heard the devastating news, Buddy vowed to make “Carlo’s a household name” just as his dad had dreamed.

However, he sadly passed away only three weeks later. Buddy then dropped out of high school to work at the bakery. He did all kinds of jobs after his dad made him “work from the bottom up”, so he could learn every aspect of the business.

The TLC star told The National in 2014: “It was important to him that I learn every aspect of the business, from dishwashing to decorating. I started out helping him and learning from the way he did things.”

Fans rush to pay tribute to the star’s father

One fan said: “How proudly he looked at you.”

This was followed by another who penned: “No wonder you think of your Father every day, look at that proud, loving look he is giving you. You were so lucky to have him as a Dad, even if it was for such a short time.”

A third added: “My grandpa used to bake with your dad back in the day at the bakery in Hoboken they were really good friends, his name is Dominic. They are both up in heaven right now baking together, happy birthday to your dad.”

Buddy’s cousin Grace penned: “He was the best uncle ever! I have so many wonderful memories of working in the bakery and holidays we all spent together! He will forever be in my heart!”


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