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What’s After “TLC’s Next Great Baker” for Peter Gray?

photo(72)EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WGGB) –When we first met Peter Gray in November, he was just getting started on TLC’s Next Great Baker. Now, barely 2 months later, his life has changed in ways he could never imagine. “I’m 21 years old. I was 21 in July, and did I think that in 1 year I would have written a cookbook, been on a TV show, opened a bakery? This is unbelievable!” Gray exclaimed.

Especially since he never intended to try out for the show in the first place, and did so because a professor at his culinary school had a hunch peter would be a good fit. One door closed when Peter was voted off the show earlier this month, but another opened when some local business owners heard him in a radio interview. “Doug & Gloria, they own the store, they own The Zanger Company that sells polish pottery. They have the gelato store in the summer, and they asked me, ‘Why wouldn’t you use the space?’”

So the Smiths are letting him use their East Longmeadow shop, Gelato Buono to sell goodies like his Girl Scout Cookie cupcakes in the meantime. However, there’s no oven, Peter bakes at another location and brings them to the store, since everything’s made fresh daily. Still, he says it feels great to have such support from the town that’s carried him this far. “I really can’t explain how much it means to me. The kindness of people and knowing that there’s someone out there who really wants to see you succeed. There are no strings attached. People are still genuinely nice and still care about the working person, “ Gray beamed.

They do. Orders keep coming in for his fancy cakes and his best-sellers, cupcakes.

Peter says he’s looking to branch out and sell his items in other locations in addition to his shop. He’s also expecting a Valentine’s Day rush.

Pete’s Sweets is open Wednesday through Friday, 12pm-7pm, Saturday 10-6, and Sunday, 12-4.