Your day is not as busy as Jason Hisley's. Six days a week, he wakes up at 1:30 a.m. to drive to his commercial bakery. By 2:30 a.m. he's helping to bake everything from croissants to Danishes to muffins. Until 6 a.m., he's delivering his goods until he arrives at his business, La Cakerie in Towson, to help his store manager open things up. 8 a.m.: catching up on orders, particularly for his coveted cakes -- about 20-30 custom cake orders a week are completed. The afternoon is back at the commercial bakery, prepping work -- mixing batters and frostings -- for the next morning. Sunday, his day off, he sleeps. But he'll never complain. "It's everything I expected and wanted and more," said Hisley, who lives in Parkville. "This for me is a passion. Nothing in life motivates me more than making people happy with a baked good." The mohawked Hisley, who previously was the pastry chef with Flavory Cupcakery, parlayed a 2011 victory on Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" into opening boutique bakery La Cakerie last November. La Cakerie shares the name with his commercial bakery company. He also got second place on another Food Network competition, "Sweet Genius." He envisioned La Cakerie's retail location as having a warm, inviting, European pastry-shop vibe. He wanted it, he said, to be a part of a "special little moment in someone's day," and you can feel his smile as his describes his business over the phone. He manages to state that he's hoping to build a bakery empire -- five retail stores in the future, perhaps a food truck -- without giving up even a whiff of Donald Trumpian arrogance. "There's always room to grow," he said. "It's unbelievably hard work. You push yourself to the limit. But if a dishwasher calls out, I roll up my sleeves and do the work. If you're not going to do it, no one else will for you." As a child, Hisley baked bread with his Czechoslovakian grandmother, and his hobby quickly turned into a passion. He earned his bachelor's in pastry arts from Johnson & Wales University, and studied in Switzerland. He was never intimidated by starting his own business (it helps he has a business partner, Adam Klein, who he says has a stellar business acumen). In fact, he even floats the words "national company" when talking about the future. Really? "Yeah. Why not?" he said.
Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun