With new storefront, Mountain View’s ‘candy lady’ takes sweets seriously

A Black woman stands in front of a counter with medium-sized jars of filled with candy
Missy Simms stands in front of one of the counters at her new store front Sweet Creations Lollipop Boutique in the Mountain View neighborhood in Anchorage on December 4, 2020. Customers can get pre-packaged and fresh candy by the piece, the scoop, and the pound. (Mayowa Aina/Alaska Public Media)

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Missy Simms is a candy fanatic. When she’s asked to pick a favorite kind — it’s difficult.

“The Sweet Tart lollipops, I like the smaller ones. I almost ate the whole bag, so I know that was a problem,” she said. That brought back childhood memories of always getting bubblegum from the machine at the grocery store. But Simms is also a “taffy person,” loves hard candy, and of course, there’s chocolate — especially if it’s got caramel in it.

Covering things in chocolate is what got Simms started on her candy business, Sweet Creations Lollipop Boutique. 

Previously a hairdresser, Simms started off by making lollipop bouquets and candy jars on special occasions for friends and family. Eventually, she turned that hobby into a business, and now a storefront, which recently opened in Anchorage’s Mountain View neighborhood.

“I just thought that it started making everybody happy,” Simms said. “I just wanted to make a place where somebody could be happy and people could smile.”

Nestled inside Mountain View Plaza between a barbershop and a tattoo parlor, Sweet Creations is painted in bright yellows, pinks, and greens. Candy of all types line the shelves.

A shelf with handmade chocolates and candies themed for the holiday
Sweet Creations Lollipop Boutique has something for everyone. In addition to the candy she makes herself, Simms said she wanted candy that adults and kids alike could enjoy. “We got retro candy, we have new school candies. We have a lot of active candy. We have a lot of sour candy,” said Missy Simms, owner. (Mayowa Aina/Alaska Public Media)

But building out a physical storefront didn’t come without its challenges, especially during a pandemic.

Simms said she did have some fear about opening a storefront at this time, but in some ways, her timing was good. She’s been able to learn from other businesses’ experiences.

“It kind of prepared me for what’s in store,” Simms said. “I kind of went in knowing what precautions to know, versus getting caught up in the pandemic.”

In doing her research, Simms’ altered her vision slightly in order to implement some of those precautions. For example, instead of having a display of self-serve candy bins like she had envisioned, staff will scoop candy for customers.

It’s been hard work to get to this point Simms said, building the business herself. She does much of her own decorations and inventory shopping, and even creates unique merchandise like t-shirts.

There’s something for everyone. But Simms said she does have one particular customer in mind.

“I just want to share my creativity with some of the kids, hopefully I’ll employ young kids,” Simms said. “I think it’s a fun place to work. And that’s what I’m looking forward to, just meeting my new friends.”

Customers can get treats from Sweet Creations every day from 11 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at 3503 Mountain View Dr.

Reach reporter Mayowa Aina at maina@alaskapublic.org or 907.744.2536

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