Tucked away in an unassuming office park, almost hidden behind a neutral exterior and rows of similar buildings, is the bakery and cafe Icing for Izaac. As soon as you walk through the door there is a stark contrast from the exterior. The inside is beaming with light & warmth– much like the Owner Grayce Holloway.
Icing for Izaac features much more than cake. The menu includes breakfast and lunch items, sandwiches, salads, fruit, a variety of sweet drinks, coffees, and desserts, along with their wedding and custom cake orders.
Owner and founder Grayce Holloway holds the frosted animal cookie cheesecake at Icing for Izaac, 243 Airport North Office Park, Fort Wayne, IN 46825.
It’s hard to imagine that the origins of such a sweet, bright place are rooted in postpartum depression.
“Each cake was helping me heal a little more from the crippling post-partum depression,” says Holloway.
Originally, she had zero intentions of starting a cake business, but she wanted to decorate cakes because when she was doing that, she wasn’t crying.
Holloway’s story begins in December of 2017, pregnant with identical twins, she walked into her ultrasound thinking everything was okay. At her appointment, she would learn that one of her twins, Izaac, did not have a heartbeat. She would lose that twin.
Owner and founder Grayce Holloway with son Zaden, 5, at Icing for Izaac, 243 Airport North Office Park, Fort Wayne, IN 46825. Zaden's identical twin was Izaac, which the shop is named after.
Holloway had to carry both twins for another 25 weeks, which she says was a very traumatic experience.
Miscarriages happen in about 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies in the U.S.
, but can be up to 30 percent of all pregnancies.
“The biggest pain was that I felt alone,” says Holloway. “I had never known anyone that this had happened to, and I was too hurt to even speak most days. Everyone walked on eggshells around me, and I just didn’t feel like anyone could understand.”
According to the CDC,
about 1 in 8 women with a recent live birth will experience symptoms of postpartum depression, and almost 20 percent of women who experience a miscarriage
will become symptomatic for depression and/or anxiety.
"My biggest piece of advice that I can give anyone experiencing loss is that you are not alone,” she says. “There is a mom out there who is looking for you, who has had a similar loss and just needs someone to talk to.”
Owner Grayce Holloway talks with guests while holding daughter Mia, 1.5, at Icing for Izaac.
Holloway took her experience to heart and now helps other mothers who have experienced loss in the community connect with one another. Icing for Izaac, in partnership with Mission: Motherhood and Redwood Inn, host a Moms with Loss Meet-Up, a peer-led support group and safe space. The group is held on the first and third Mondays of each month from 6-8 p.m.
Holloway says she has already noticed friendships blossoming outside of meeting times and has felt the community support building up.
Even though she never imagined she would own a bustling cake business, Holloway grew up with an appreciation for baking, because she watched her mom make cakes. Holloway says before, she would make one or two cakes each year as a hobby.
A slice of death by chocolate cake at Icing for Izaac, 243 Airport North Office Park, Fort Wayne, IN 46825
But after her miscarriage, Holloway was concerned that Izaac would be forgotten and decided that through the business, Izaac would be part of their everyday lives. Holloway worked to get up-to-date on current baking trends by watching YouTube and Instagram videos and then practicing on fake drum cakes to improve her skills.
“I never wanted Zaden (Izaac’s identical twin) to feel alone,” she says. “I had no idea that we would ever be here, but it has turned into an opportunity to be a voice for many women that have experienced loss.”
Through the years her business has transformed. She started making cakes out of her house as a home baker in March of 2019, working around her children’s sleep schedules. Eventually, she added a second refrigerator to the kitchen to hold all the cake orders she was getting. Then, Holloway moved into her first physical space, Cookspring
, a shared commercial kitchen at the Summit.
The bakery case at Icing for Izaac.
“This was a great way to get my wedding cakes into venues that require a board of health certificate,” says Holloway.
In August of 2021, Holloway moved into Alto Grado on the Landing in downtown Fort Wayne and stayed there for one and a half years.
Then in April of 2023, Holloway decided it was time to make another big move. She opened Icing for Izaac in its current location on Lima Road inside of Airport North Office Park.
Interior photos at Icing for Izaac
“Our new bakery was originally a 2,100 sq ft. office building,” she says. “We purchased the building, tore down nine walls, added a bathroom and a cubby for our drink fridge, and completely revamped the inside. I did design the entire space myself, but the work was done by Christopher Cammack, Cammack Estates.”
When you first walk in you can’t help but notice how open, colorful, and bright the space is. There are many photo-worthy details such as a pink couch and flower wall in the main room. There is a secondary sitting room featuring a brick wall, white chairs, and lots of greenery.
Interior photos at Icing for Izaac
At the back of the room is a photo wall filled with greenery and a sign that says “I love you more than cake.” Holloway says she hopes that this area gets utilized more by photographers looking for a café style environment as a backdrop for their photos.
While the other rooms at Icing for Izaac are undoubtedly bright and fun, the backroom truly sets Holloway’s business apart. In the back of her bakery/cafe is a fully gated children’s play area. The play area features several bouncers and highchairs, children’s toys, a ball pit, and even a changing table outside of the gate. As a working mom with five children (plus angel Izaac), with four of those children under the age of six, Holloway says she saw the need for this kind of space for herself and other parents.
The children's playroom at Icing for Izaac.
And Holloway says the community response has been great around the playroom. She’s witnessed mommy meet-ups, first birthdays, first steps, and first words, all in the playroom.
The addition of the playroom makes Icing for Izaac a one-of-a-kind space– a family-friendly environment, which gives parents the chance to relax and enjoy a meal or special treat while their children are entertained and contained.
Zaden, 5, left, and Eizajah, 6, enjoy the ball pit in the children's playroom at Icing for Izaac.
Holloway says her family doesn’t shy away from getting in on the action at the store, especially her daughter Makenzie, 11, who has become a regular sight at the store.
“Many many customers look for her on the weekends to be working the register and making drinks,” Holloway says. “She loves to help. She is fantastic and our customers love her.”
The extra help from family is welcome, as Holloway explains things at Icing for Izaac have been getting busier, especially following the holiday season. Last year, they launched whole cheesecake sales the week of Thanksgiving and that gained a lot of traction leading up to Christmas and beyond. They ended up making 52 cheesecakes that week, practically working around the clock.
Makenzie, 11, works the counter of her mother's bakery cafe, Icing for Izaac.
Lately, there’s been almost a viral sensation surrounding Icing for Izaac’s cheesecakes, especially their cheesecake slices. They’ve already sold over 450 slices since the first of the year and the customer response is undeniably good– with their social media posts flooded with positive comments, support from the community, and customers even crossing state lines to get a taste of their treats.
With all that extra work, Holloway says she is especially thankful for her husband of 13 years, Eric. In April of 2022, he left his full-time job to be a stay-at-home dad and support Holloway through all of the ups and downs of being a business owner.
Looking at her success as a young businesswoman, mother & wife, Holloway says she wants to inspire others to follow their dreams. She has worked with the JA entrepreneurial camp
for three years, which has been a highlight of her journey.
Customers line up at Icing for Izaac.
“I hope that people see my pain and my rocky journey and really believe that they can do it too,” she says.
Holloway has had her fair share of rocky moments and challenges with her business along the way.
“We have had to be resilient and resourceful, strong, and confident, patient and kind, and sometimes we have even had to cry,” she shares. “But growth doesn’t come from comfort zones. Every challenge I have faced has made me a better, more well-rounded individual– kind of like a character-building exercise.”
Owner and founder Grayce Holloway pictured with her children from left: Makenzie, 11, Zaden, 5, Mia, 1, Eizajah, 6, and Benjamin, 3 at Icing for Izaac.
As for the future, Holloway is taking it one day— or rather one cheesecake slice at a time. She says she hopes to continue to go with the flow, and at the moment, is just grateful for everything that she has been able to accomplish so far, with much credit given to her team.
“My best advice is to believe in yourself and to find a circle of people that believe in you even more than you do, so on the hard days they don’t let you quit,” says Holloway.