Simma's, the upscale Wauwatosa bakery known for its cheesecakes, wedding cakes and other goodies, has been sold. Mark Carollo, the owner of Greendale-based Croissant Etc., confirmed he purchased Simma's, 817 N. 68th St., last week.
Croissant Etc. is a manufacturer and wholesaler of frozen dough and fully baked croissants, shipped from its Greendale facility. National food service providers and supermarket chains are its primary customers, with its products distributed as far away as Pennsylvania, according to Carollo. Some of its products are sold locally at Grasch Foods and Sendik's.
Simma's, founded in 1982 by Russian immigrant Simma Yundov, is mostly a retail bakery. "They are different businesses, and they are set up differently," Carollo said of Croissant Etc. and Simma's.
"I am making no changes at Simma's," he continued. "Why would you change anything? I have bought the best bakery in Milwaukee.
"Simma's is a great brand with a great reputation, and I won't jeopardize that."
Carollo said he is retaining Simma's staff and recipes. Irina Yundov, the founder's daughter, has owned Simma's since her mother died about 20 years ago, and she will stay for up to a year in an advisory and production capacity.
The new owner said Croissant Etc. and Simma's fit together well. "I was looking for opportunities to grow in the baking industry. Simma's retail business and my wholesale business complement each other."
Carollo said it was too early to know what synergies might develop between his two companies.
Damien has been around so long, he was at Summerfest the night George Carlin was arrested for speaking the seven dirty words you can't say on TV. He was also at the Uptown Theatre the night Bruce Springsteen's first Milwaukee concert was interrupted for three hours by a bomb scare. Damien was reviewing the concert for the Milwaukee Journal. He wrote for the Journal and Journal Sentinel for 37 years, the last 29 as theater critic.
During those years, Damien served two terms on the board of the American Theatre Critics Association, a term on the board of the association's foundation, and he studied the Latinization of American culture in a University of Southern California fellowship program. Damien also hosted his own arts radio program, "Milwaukee Presents with Damien Jaques," on WHAD for eight years.
Travel, books and, not surprisingly, theater top the list of Damien's interests. A news junkie, he is particularly plugged into politics and international affairs, but he also closely follows the Brewers, Packers and Marquette baskeball. Damien lives downtown, within easy walking distance of most of the theaters he attends.