Adam Wiltfang was in high school when he found what he wanted to do for a living.

“As an artist and food lover, I started in high school working in bakeries drawing characters on birthday cakes,” he said. “When I realized that I could combine my two passions and make edible art, the idea took off.”

Wiltfang opened Designer Desserts in Valparaiso in fall 2004, making custom cakes and artfully designed, indulgent cupcakes.

“I set out to make Northwest Indiana love desserts as much as I do,” he said. And in the spirit of the movie “Field of Dreams” and its motto “If you build it, they will come,” he learned that, “if you bake them, they will come.”

Designer Desserts has seen such success in its Valparaiso location that Wilfang knew it was time to expand into Lake County.

“We have been looking at Lake County for the past few years,” he said. “We have a very large customer base in that area and on a daily basis hear from customers, 'Oh, we wish you were in Lake County so it was closer.' "

Schererville seemed like a natural fit for a new store, Wiltfang said. The new shop opens Thursday.

“Schererville has such a booming market, not only big box stores, but a lot of independently owned and operated shops similar to us. The variety is what really attracted us to that area.”

Over the years, Designer Desserts, which specializes in jumbo cupcakes, has gone from a dozen different cupcake flavors in the beginning to now having “109 flavors and counting.”

The new location will be a traditional cupcake shop/modern upscale boutique bakery, featuring a daily variety of about 35 to 50 flavors with a rotating menu. They’ll also be offering fresh baked cookies, brownies, Sugarbombs (jumbo sugar cookies with vanilla buttercream and sprinkles) and Double Doozies (vanilla and chocolate buttercream sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies). 

Wiltfang looks forward to spreading love through food in Lake County, just as he has in Porter County for 13 years.

“Making something as simple as a cupcake can brighten someone's day,” he said. “To see the expressions on people’s faces when they look at the cases full of cupcakes and then dive into that first bite, it makes it all worth it. You can make even the worst day better if you live life one cupcake at a time.”

This story has been changed to reflect the Thursday opening date.