He started making cakes at 12. Now he’ll have his own business in Hamilton

Luke Heizer, right, plans to open Luke's Custom Cakes on High Street in the former True West Coffee location (True West's Main Street shop remains open). PROVIDED
Luke Heizer, right, plans to open Luke's Custom Cakes on High Street in the former True West Coffee location (True West's Main Street shop remains open). PROVIDED

A decade after he sold his first custom-designed cakes at age 12, Luke Heizer is taking his business to a storefront on Hamilton’s High Street.

Heizer, who grew up in Trenton and is a 2017 Edgewood High School graduate, began his cake-designing with cakes depicting Ironman and Dora the Explorer.

Heizer’s father, Alan, is helping build out the interior of the former True West Coffee shop on High Street. The other True West, on Main Street, remains open. Heizer’s mother, Tammie, does most of the cake-baking, and he does the decorating of cupcakes and cakes that can be very elaborate.

The cakes generally range from $35 to $120, with many selling from $80 to $120.

He hopes to open the shop in August but is transforming the interior first. He removed the former coffee shop’s counter, is painting the ceiling and is building a cake-decorating room. Front counters will be built.

Luke Heizer, right, plans to open Luke's Custom Cakes on High Street in the former True West Coffee location (True West's Main Street shop remains open). His mother, Tammie, and father, Alan, are helping with the project. PROVIDED
Luke Heizer, right, plans to open Luke's Custom Cakes on High Street in the former True West Coffee location (True West's Main Street shop remains open). His mother, Tammie, and father, Alan, are helping with the project. PROVIDED

Heizer, who turned 22 on Saturday, never took a formal decorating class. Instead, he learned a variety of ways. He had a babysitter who experimented with decorating and who took him to the library for cookbooks.

“And then I started experimenting, watching YouTube videos, and I got into it that way,” he said.

Luke Heizer, right, plans to open Luke's Custom Cakes on High Street in the former True West Coffee location (True West's Main Street shop remains open). PROVIDED
Luke Heizer, right, plans to open Luke's Custom Cakes on High Street in the former True West Coffee location (True West's Main Street shop remains open). PROVIDED

Heizer also worked as a cake decorator for Whole Foods in Mason and Florida.

“He has a cult following,” said Hamilton small-business specialist Mallory Greenham, who is pleased Heizer has chosen the window-filled downtown location, where he can show off his products. “People have been ordering his cakes for years, and he’s been growing exponentially, so he’s opening up his very first storefront here in downtown Hamilton.”

He works on many cakes.

“Last weekend I had three weddings and probably six or seven birthday orders,” he said. “I do a lot of business at Miami University, and so a lot of parents from out of state will order cakes or cupcakes for a relative, and I deliver it to them there.

“So during the school year, I can have over 50 cakes a week. And I can only take on so many because it’s only me decorating them. I’m still doing it out of my parents’ house, so I only have so much room there to store certain things. But hopefully, once I get the store up and running I’ll be able to accommodate a lot more customers.”

When the shop opens, he expects to have a handful of employees.

Custom orders can be placed through his Facebook page, Luke’s Custom Cakes, or via (513)-444-6336 or orders@lukescustomcakes.com.

Luke Heizer, right, plans to open Luke's Custom Cakes on High Street in the former True West Coffee location (True West's Main Street shop remains open). PROVIDED
Luke Heizer, right, plans to open Luke's Custom Cakes on High Street in the former True West Coffee location (True West's Main Street shop remains open). PROVIDED

Luke's Custom Cakes is opening a storefront on High Street in Hamilton. PROVIDED
Luke's Custom Cakes is opening a storefront on High Street in Hamilton. PROVIDED

Luke Heizer, right, plans to open Luke's Custom Cakes on High Street in the former True West Coffee location (True West's Main Street shop remains open). PROVIDED
Luke Heizer, right, plans to open Luke's Custom Cakes on High Street in the former True West Coffee location (True West's Main Street shop remains open). PROVIDED

Luke Heizer, right, plans to open Luke's Custom Cakes on High Street in the former True West Coffee location (True West's Main Street shop remains open). His cakes are especially popular with Miami University families, like the one that ordered a birthday cake for a swimmer. PROVIDED
Luke Heizer, right, plans to open Luke's Custom Cakes on High Street in the former True West Coffee location (True West's Main Street shop remains open). His cakes are especially popular with Miami University families, like the one that ordered a birthday cake for a swimmer. PROVIDED