Grandma Millie’s Bakery was closed Thursday morning, its windows blacked out with polyurethane and gaffer tape.
The usual smell of confectionery goodness was distinctly lacking, but cars still packed the parking lot.
“We’re shooting interviews in there,” said High Noon Entertainment production coordinator Lionel Zafar.
Grandma Millie’s, located at the Fulton County Airport outside of Johnstown, will be closed today and Saturday for the shooting of an episode of “Bakery Boss,” a new TLC reality TV show hosted by Buddy Valastro, famous from the “Cake Boss” show.
According the Grandma Millie’s Facebook page, film started rolling Thursday and will continue through a grand reopening Sunday.
“We are so very proud and so beyond excited to announce … TLC’s ‘Bakery Boss’ will be in Johnstown,” the Facebook post said.
Grandma Millie’s is owned by local resident Chauncey McCormick, but she and the staff have been contractually sworn to secrecy.
Even Zafar was allowed to speak only in general terms. The series first premiered May 27 with Valastro getting a struggling bakery in Frankfort back on its feet.
He does basically the same thing every week in faltering bakeries across the country.
“We’ve shot in Texas,” Zafar said. “All over. It’s cold here.”
He said “Bakery Boss” is based on the same concept as Chef Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares” — a show in which Ramsay badgers restaurant owners into shape.
“It’s a similar sort of a thing,” he said.
The show goes out to a national audience, which made Fulton-Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce President Mark Kilmer particularly happy.
“This is like free advertising,” he said. “I think people will want to come and visit the bakery and that’s good for the whole area.”
Once the show airs, Kilmer plans to “get something together to make the publicity benefit the whole county,” he said.
The Grandma Millie’s Bakery episode is Valastro’s second recent connection to the Capital Region.
He designed the cake enjoyed by track aficionados at Saratoga’s 150th anniversary celebration of racing in the city earlier this season.
This time he’ll actually spend some time in the area.
He wasn’t around Thursday, but will make the grand re-opening event Sunday.
In Valastro’s absence, the crew shot background and reaction interviews with staff and the bakery’s owners that will eventually be sandwiched between scenes of baking conflict.
The bakery itself also will be worked over, which explains the blacked-out windows.
“Even at the grand reveal we’re pretty careful about people taking pictures,” Zafar said. “We don’t want to let the cat out of the bag before this thing airs.”
As he spoke, a young local couple parked and approached the small bakery building.
“I’m just here for the cupcakes,” the guy said, adding that he had no idea a TV show was being filmed at his favorite bakery.
“There are no cupcakes in there,” Zafar said.
According to the bakery’s Facebook page, those interested in attending the Sunday event should inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.