By Blair Anthony Robertson
Trey Luzzi began the glamorous life of a small businessman and gourmet bakery owner by waking at 4 a.m., selling out of nearly everything, getting home by midnight and asleep by 12:30 a.m.
Today? He was up and at 'em again at 4, thrilled about his first day in business at the much-anticipated Trey B Cakes Gourmet Bakery and Eatery on L Street between 18th and 19th.
One of the appealing things about the bakery are the hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and closing at 1 a.m. on Friday and Sunday. But Trey B Cakes didn't make it to 10 p.m. on Monday.
"We sold out. We had to close at 9 p.m. because we were out of everything except a couple of pieces of cheesecake," he said.
Luzzi decided to get into the bakery and restaurant business after years of working for the state. The bakery is the culmination of careful planning and saving, along with lots of help from friends and family. His grandparents even put up their house for collateral for the business loan.
Two of his key employees are talented pastry chefs Jenny Brewster and Steven Facio. I was lucky enough to try some of their work before the food run out. It was very impressive, including a perfect pumpkin cheesecake, a light and balanced fruit basket cake and a moist, delicious chocolate/raspberry ganache cake.
The carrot cake was also superb.
It's no wonder customers bought up everything.
Luzzi's first customer of the day walked in right at 7 a.m. It was his grandfather, Fred Luzzi, who ordered a cup of coffee and handed his grandson a crisp dollar bill with the words "good luck" written on it by Trey's grandmother.
"I put it right in my pocket and I'm going to frame it," he said.
I asked Luzzi, now that he is a seasoned restaurateur, if he any advice for those thinking about getting into the business. He didn't hesitate.
"No matter how careful you are with your budget, double the total and double the amount of time you have to do your build out," he said.