Hey Palermo fans, check out the article “Imagination, Covered in Icing” in the Sunday New York Times on the popularity of specialty and custom cakes. It features a photo of a Palermo’s cake and some words of wisdom from our very own Joanne Bruno!
Read the article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/20/nyregion/20dinenj.html
Here’s the excerpt:
GIVEN the popularity of the TLC reality show “Cake Boss” and its star, Buddy Valastro, owner of Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, one could be forgiven for assuming that Carlo’s, and only Carlo’s, bakes cakes replicating everything from human torsos to golf bags.
But there are others.
…Cake-seekers who dream of an elaborate confection but have a modest budget have been known to turn to Palermo’s Bakery in Ridgefield Park, said Giovanna Bruno, a co-owner, who is known as Joanne.
“What we do is very high-end, but we’ll fit everyone’s budget; I’m not going to sit there and pick and choose my brides,” said Ms. Bruno, who opened Palermo’s 24 years ago with her husband, Gennaro Bruno. The couple live in Cedar Grove; neither went to culinary or pastry school, but Mr. Bruno comes from a family of bakers.
Palermo’s is a full-service bakery. On a recent Saturday morning, customers paid for cheese Danish and crullers on one side of the 7,000-square-foot operation, while next door, a steady stream of brides waited for cake consultations with Ms. Bruno. Behind her desk, a sign reading, “Black icing turns teeth black” was prominently displayed.
Palermo’s employs 45 people and turns out 200 wedding cakes a weekend at the height of the season, said Ms. Bruno, 44. “We don’t recommend it, but you could come in here two months in advance needing a $10,000 wedding cake, and we have the staff to get it done for you,” she said.
That includes requests like a recent one for a cake resembling a Lamborghini and able to feed 200. “It took us three days to make this, with four people working,” said Ms. Bruno, leading a tour around the edible sports car, which, despite the sign behind Ms. Bruno’s desk, was covered in black fondant. The Lamborghini cake cost $3,500.
“The average wedding cake might be $1,200 to $1,500, but it really depends on what a person wants,” she said. The most expensive was about $9,000. Some people want special touches, like Swarovski crystals, that run up the price, Ms. Bruno said.
Mostly, though, people want fondant — the sugary, dyeable, Play-Doh-like substance that gives carved cakes their malleability and sleek, satiny finish…
Photos taken by Alex di Suvero for The New York Times.
Sun-Thurs 5:30am – 8pm
Fri-Sat 5:30am – 9pm
Sun 7am – 7pm
Mon-Thurs 7am – 8pm
Fri-Sat 7am – 9pm