Oftentimes when Wisconsin residents think of a favorite dessert, a delicious cheesecake from Suzy’s Cream Cheesecakes & Distinctive Desserts comes to mind. This award-winning Wisconsin business has been setting the standards in the dessert industry since the mid ’80s, all due to the vision and passion of founder Suzy Strothmann. And Oak Creek is lucky to have Suzy’s headquartered right here in a new 49,000-sq.-ft. facility on South Howell Ave.
Suzy’s Cream Cheesecakes are sold nationwide. They can be found in most local grocery stores and are served at area restaurants including Pizza Man, Meyers Family Restaurant, NYPD (New York Pizza Delivery), Chubby’s Cheesesteaks and El Señorial. The most popular flavors include New York, Turtle, and Strawberry and Cream. The company also features several cheesecake variety packs centered around a theme, like chocolate, candy bar or ice cream flavors — plus petite individuals servings. Plus, Suzy’s produces carrot cakes, chocolate fudge tortes, turtle fudge brownies, espresso brownies and more.
The story behind Suzy’s Cream Cheesecakes dates back to Suzy’s childhood. She was born into a large family in small-town Manawa, Wis. (population 1,300), the thirteenth of 15 children. To stretch the family’s budget, her mom baked all her own breads, cookies, pies and cakes from scratch. The sense of warmth and pride attached to all these home-baked goods was instilled in Suzy early in life. By 1983, she had a family of her own (five children and a working husband) and was a stay-at-home mom like her own mother. She found herself looking for creative ways to pass the time, so she started to bake. Meanwhile, her husband Mark was running one of Milwaukee’s top restaurants. This led them to travel whenever they could, seeking new menu ideas.
On one of their trips in 1982, they stopped at a small café in St. Helena, Calif., where they sampled a chocolate cheesecake unlike anything they had ever tasted. The waiter’s description of this dessert had intrigued them, prompting them to order it. A typical cheesecake of that era was white, plain and always baked on a graham cracker crust. Yet, when this particular cheesecake arrived, it was gloriously rich with semi-sweet chocolate, creamy beyond belief and baked on a buttered crust of crushed chocolate cookie wafers. Mark immediately asked Suzy if she thought she could bake something like it for the restaurant. Of course, she said “yes,” and the idea of Suzy’s Cream Cheesecake business began to form.
Soon, Suzy’s cheesecakes became so popular at Mark’s restaurant that dinner customers began ordering whole cakes for carry out. It was then that Suzy decided to open her own store. The first shop had only one oven, one refrigerator and 250 sq. ft. for baking and sales. On the first full day of work, Suzy and her niece managed to bake eight cheesecakes that sold out by the next afternoon. Fast forward 30+ years, and you now find Suzy’s cheesecakes and desserts sold in the finest grocery stores across America. And while the number of cheesecakes baked every day has increased dramatically, Suzy’s early memories of her mom’s scratch baking have bound her to the philosophy of using only the finest, freshest ingredients available. She never scrimps on quality.
Today, Suzy’s Cream Cheesecakes & Distinctive Desserts has 65 full-time employees and remains a family-run business. Suzy’s husband Mark is in charge of IT and Systems Administration and plays an active role in planning the future of the business. Suzy’s son Mark works in sales and customer service. And her son-in-law Mark Kirchner is president and CEO. As for Suzy herself, she continues to be active in the business, working on new product development and collaborating with her husband on decisionmaking and business planning.
According to Kirchner, Suzy’s new Oak Creek location has worked out extremely well for the company. “We particularly enjoy having great access to the freeway for shipping our products. And we are proud to be a part of Oak Creek’s recent growth,” he says, adding, “The City is a thriving and growing community with great dining and entertainment options.” Suzy’s Cream Cheesecakes is proud to be a strong community partner, donating to various area charities as well as opening its doors to the Oak Creek High School Culinary program. Additionally, charitable groups can partner with Suzy’s on their own fundraising efforts.
While there are dozens of commercially produced cheesecakes available, Suzy’s Cream Cheesecakes & Distinctive Desserts still rise to the top. Thanks go to Suzy for building her passion into this nationally recognized business. We are proud to have you call Oak Creek home!
Suzy’s Cream Cheesecakes & Distinctive Desserts
9911 s. Howell Ave. • (414) 453-2255 • suzys.com
If you are looking to ship a cheesecake or other dessert item, Suzy’s partners with several Wisconsin retailers, like Nueske’s and Wisconsin Made (visit suzys.com for more information).View Original Article