Sophie Bolich

Three Vendors Exiting North Avenue Market As Part of “Reset”

Two departing vendors, S'Blendid and Fresh Farm Bowls, confirm they're looking for new spaces.

By - Jan 27th, 2023 11:00 am
North Avenue Market, 5900 W. North Ave., photo taken Sept. 6, 2022 by Sophie Bolich.

North Avenue Market, 5900 W. North Ave., photo taken Sept. 6, 2022 by Sophie Bolich.

S’Blendid Boba Tea has announced a closing date for its North Avenue Market cafe. The final day for the tea shop and Korean sandwich restaurant will be Sunday, Jan. 29. Two other vendors are also leaving the market as part of what the founder describes as a “reset.”

“When you launch something, there are a lot of pieces. And so there have been some wonderful things that have happened and there have been some opportunities that we’ve had to enhance what we’re able to bring into our neighborhood,” said market founder Chris Harris Morse in an interview. “And in doing that, there are some changes that we will be implementing and looking at.”

After five months in operation at the market, S’Blendid Malee Thao said, the business simply outgrew its 82-square-foot space. She said S’Blendid is joined in its departure by fellow vendors Fresh Farm Bowls and Arty’s Sweet Talk Cupcakes.

“We’re looking to operate more limitlessly,” said Thao. “My decision was really led upon how we could make this work long-term for our customers.”

In a social media post announcing the upcoming closure, Thao expressed her gratitude to customers and apologized for the sudden departure.

“Some of you walked into the market with strong boba urges while others stumbled across our shop only to find themselves returning every several days. Whether it be for our crafted boba teas or flavor-packed chicken sandwiches, just know we cherish and appreciate you for supporting us, believing in our product, and leaving a positive footprint on our team members,” the post said.

In an interview with Urban Milwaukee, Thao said she will miss the community support.

“They’ve shown us so much support,” she said. “And I know that, based on the comments on Facebook, we will be missed. But I will say that we’re going to come back so much stronger.”

Thao said she is looking for a new, larger location to reopen the tea shop and sandwich restaurant. In particular, she hopes to find a spot that has a large dining area and outdoor seating options. But as of right now, “there’s nothing set in stone.”

S’Blendid offered a menu centered on organic, loose-leaf teas, fruit teas and Thai tea with a variety of add-ins including bursting boba, black tapioca, grass jelly or house-made honey and passion fruit jellies. Shortly after its launch, the tea business added made-to-order Korean fried chicken sandwiches to its menu.

The restaurant was among the first vendors to join the market, 5900 W. North Ave., which officially opened in September 2022. The market and community gathering space is currently home to six other restaurants and businesses including Taste of Java, Sam’s DeliThe Packed Picnic Company, Mosler’s Vault, Bittercube Bar and A&B Desserts. Last October, Dawg City announced plans to join the market.

Harris-Morse explained that the reshuffling of vendors is due to a number of factors, and said that the market is entering a reset phase.

Fresh Farm Bowls owner Jonute Svien told Urban Milwaukee that he left the market last Friday “due to disagreements with the landlord and other legal ordeals.” He is currently looking for a new location to reopen.

Thao added to Svien’s sentiment, noting that “there are a couple of things that have occurred within the market.” But declined to comment further.

Harris-Morse emphasized that he has a great deal of respect for every person at the market, noting that his main focus is to set up the market to be “not just sustainable, but thriving long-term.”

The market has several openings for new vendors. Interested parties can learn more online.

A representative of Arty’s Sweet Talk Cupcakes did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

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One thought on “Three Vendors Exiting North Avenue Market As Part of “Reset””

  1. GodzillakingMKE says:

    One side broke the contract for sure.

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