Sammy Mila, the new owner of Crème, says she’s eager to “share my creations in a way that’s approachable, accessible, and best of all, local.” Photo: Dera Burreson.
Writer: Karla Walsh
When Christina Moffatt’s parents started struggling with health challenges in 2021, she knew she couldn’t be a mom, wife, daughter, bakery owner, businesswoman, community advocate, public speaker and charity board member all at once. So she quietly put out feelers to individuals who she thought might be able to carry on the legacy of her beloved-since-2010 bakery brand, Crème. Moffatt found a familiar face—one whose work you’ve seen in dsm—to take over: Sammy Mila.
The conversations began in November 2021. This summer, Mila has been transitioning out of her role as a full-time food stylist and recipe developer at Dotdash Meredith. As of June 1, she has been the official owner. “Sammy is an amazingly talented and hardworking individual, and she was focused on keeping my staff—which was the most important thing to me,” Moffat tells dsm. “I know Sammy will do amazing things with Creme.”
As a reintroduction to the neighborhood and to celebrate Crème’s 10-year anniversary, Mila and team are hosting an open house next Wednesday, Aug. 3, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Stop in for free mini cupcakes while supplies last, and stick around to buy a regular-sized cupcake in your favorite flavor. If the cupcake you choose is filled with sprinkles, you’ll win a free gift card to the shop.
Baking has been Mila’s passion since she decided to shift her major from biochemistry to culinary science at Iowa State University in 2009. “I love the chemistry, consistency and satisfaction baking brings to the table,” Mila says. “I’ve always wanted to have my own little space to treat as my ‘edible chemistry lab’ where I can throw flavors and brilliant colors together to create something different yet in an approachable way.”
After a makeover of the space, including fresh coats of white paint and a “local wall” that will feature items from other area makers and bakers, Mila is getting her footing at the shop—and is getting ready to really make her mark on the menu.
“Eleven years of food styling gave me the opportunity to fine tune my technical skills and creative eye. With that, I’m going to share my creations in a way that’s approachable, accessible and best of all, local,” Mila says.
“Flavors nostalgic to me, like ube, black sesame, and green tea are few and far between when it comes to desserts in Des Moines,” she adds. “I’m excited to take risks and create snacks that we can’t get here yet, like mochi donuts [and] milk bread as well as cakes and cupcakes with Asian-inspired flavors. Plus the classics, of course.”
Crème is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with expanded hours coming soon. Keep up with the evolving menu and upcoming events at cremecupcake.com and on Instagram at @creme_dsm.