In the fall of 2010, a young couple named Jake and Heather strolled down the street in front of Simma's Bakery, enjoying the brisk Wisconsin weather. Heather chatted away lightheartedly as they walked their small, fluffy dog together, but Jake's heart and mind were racing. As they approached the storefront, the young man made his long-planned gesture toward the window, where, flanked by two white roses, sat a Simma's cheesecake. The signature chocolate ganache had been decorated with six red flower buds, swirling green vines, and five life-changing words written in white: "Heather, Will You Marry Me?" Jake got down on one knee and pulled out a ring to say with words what the cake had already said with icing.
Simma's Bakery has been a Milwaukee staple for more than 25 years, and its decadent desserts have shared more laughter and tears than a soap opera about birthday clowns. The mom-and-pop shop was founded by Simma Yundov, a woman who immigrated with her husband and two children to the United States from Russia in 1979. She built the bakery from the ground up, making a name for herself and touching the lives of countless people. After her death more than a decade ago, Simma's daughter carried on her mother's work and recently passed the brûlée torch to Mark and Peggy Carollo, who, Veil magazine, have years of experience in the family-run bakery business. Today, the walls are covered with awards and recognitions—tributes to Simma's legacy. The bakery was named one of the The Knot's Best of Weddings 2013 vendors, a top Wedding Cake Designer in the Shepherd Express Best of Milwaukee 2012 awards, and has been a winner or finalist in CityVoter's Best Cakes category for six years running. According to a 2009 article by the Badger Herald's Allie Demet—who grew up in the area and remembers celebrating childhood birthdays with Simma's cakes—the shop is one of the International Restaurant & Hospitality Ratings Bureau’s Top 25 Bakeries in America. The shop has also been voted the Best Place to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in 2012 by both the editors and readers of M magazine.