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The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

NOM Sips and Eats brings vibrant smoothie bowls and specialty coffee to downtown La Crosse

Bliss Bowls. Photo taken by Isabel Piarulli.

NOM Sips and Eats made its debut in the La Crosse food scene on May 21. Situated inside Meringue Bakery on Main Street, this new spot offers smoothie bowls and specialty coffee. 

The cafe’s signature smoothie bowls or what NOM calls Bliss Bowls have become what NOM is known for. While it wasn’t what owner Samantha Sveum had expected to be NOM’s main thing, she is more than willing to adapt to the community’s preferences.  

“I am someone who will pivot based on what people are the most interested in and for a while it was coffee, before I was doing a whole business based on coffee,” said Sveum. “But then smoothie bowls became a hit.” 

NOM offers seven different bases all made from organic fruit and acai. While the menu has four curated Bliss Bowls, customers can customize from any of the bases and toppings.   

Sveum’s perfect Bliss Bowl starts with the matcha base and ends with a drizzle of peanut butter. “I have always had a passion for nutrition, specifically exciting food,” she said.  

Exciting food is how most would describe the look of a Bliss Bowl. NOM’s most popular menu item is the Barbie Bowl, with a bright pink passion fruit base, topped with gluten-free honey and granola, banana, strawberries, goji berries, pitaya powder and peanut butter.  

Like Bliss Bowls, the coffee sold in NOM is also a new addition to the area, explains Sveum. The beans come from a roaster out of Madison, WI, JBC Coffee roasters. “It’s pretty niche, our current roast has notes of strawberry rhubarb, lemonade and milk chocolate.”  

NOM’s coffee menu features three signature drinks, The Brooksie, Honey Badger and Turtle Mocha.  

The incorporation of NOM into Meringue bakery creates a collaboration of two women-owned businesses under one roof. “It just kind of happened to be our demographic between the bakery and what I have done we are women focused,” said Sveum.  

Jen Barney, Meringue Bakery owner, had contacted Sveum about the brick-and-mortar opportunity the same week someone had made an offer to purchase Sveum’s pervious business venture. Sveum reflected on this moment, “It felt like something had aligned,” she said.  

Before joining NOM, Sveum ran a coffee business from a mail truck due to limited space. “I never had the space for it in the coffee truck,” she said. “When Jen offered the opportunity, I knew I had to do it.” 

Originally from Eau Claire, WI, Sveum studied Engineering at UW-Platteville and worked as a structural engineer before pursuing her passion for coffee and nutritious food. “I quit my job to buy a mail truck and retrofit it into a coffee truck, that was back in February of 2020,” Sveum said. Like many people, Sveum was unaware the country was about to enter the COVID-19 pandemic. “So that was terrifying. I was like ‘oh okay I guess we are doing this’,” she said.  

After seven months of retrofitting, Sveum launched Butternut Road Coffee near Madison, which led to NOM Sips and Eats in La Crosse. 

From a business perspective what Sveum found to be both the most rewarding and most challenging aspect was the addition of employees. “I wanted to be very intentional when managing employees,” she said.  

Sveum refers to her employees as Bliss Bowl Artists because as she explained, “Things that are more nutrient dense are the things that are more colorful, naturally colorful, we get to create art.” 

In a high-paced environment, Sveum looked for employees that were energized and cheerful.  

“It is my biggest motivation as a business owner to make sure that my employees are feeling supported and having fun,” Sveum said. “That trickles down to the customers.” 

The pink walls and assortment of plants in the space align with Sveum’s vision for NOM: a vibrant place where people can have fun. 

NOM Sips and Eats is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 7:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. and on Sundays from 9 A.M. to 12 P.M. 

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About the Contributor
Isabel Piarulli
Isabel Piarulli, Executive Editor
Year at UWL: Junior PGPs: She/Her/Hers Hometown: Menasha, WI Major: Psychology and Political Science Minor: Communication Studies Other Campus Involvement: Student Association CASSH Senator, University Centers Admin Assistant, Psychology Club, Pre-Law Society member Future Plans after Graduation: Attend law school Favorite Activity in La Crosse: Visiting Pearl Street Books
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