Inspiring Okeechobee: Nicole genuinely cares about this town

Nicole Tumoszwicz, who owns the Sublime Juice Garden on Southwest Second Avenue, has lived in Okeechobee for the last 30 years. She started out working as a dental hygienist for 14 years and worked for Dr. Jennifer Laskey at Family Dentistry for the last 10 of those years.

Lake Okeechobee News/Cathy Womble
Nicole Tumoszwicz left her career as a dental hygienist to open the Sublime Juice Garden on Southwest Second Avenue.

Mrs. Tumoszwicz is a Christian and tries to follow God’s will for her life, she said. In 2018, she went to a creative conference in California and stopped at a juice bar before the conference. She liked everything about it, even the smell of it. She asked her friends if they thought something like that would work in Okeechobee, and they were pretty hesitant, saying things like, “I don’t know if it’s their vibe.”

They left the juice bar and went to the conference, which was about 20 minutes away. When they arrived, they found Mason jars on each chair and inside each jar was a business card. The card happened to be the business card of the juice bar they had just left, she said. The conference had nothing to do with juice bars, but the teacher of the class they were taking owned the juice bar they had just left. “It’s a God thing. Really! That’s it,” she said.

She had the name Sublime already picked out. She just woke up one morning, and the word was there. She wrote the definition down and the date she woke up with that word on her mind. When she was sitting in that class, the name Sublime instantly came back to her, she said. “Oh Sublime! That would be the name of it.” That was in May 2018, and she kept thinking she was crazy. She didn’t know anything about juicing. She figured she would go home and tell her husband, and he would say no, and that would be that, but when she told him, he said, “OK, we will check into it and see what we can do.”

Every step after that went the same way, she said. She found someone who had lived in Belle Glade, who owned a juice bar in South Carolina that is very popular. She reached out to her and asked if she could come and learn from her. The woman let her come up and learn everything she could within a three-day time period.

In 2019, they opened their doors, so it was nine months from the time she had the idea until the day the doors opened. She felt that if she didn’t do it she would be missing out on whatever God was trying to do in her life, so she said, “Yes!” It took off from there, she said.

She is at the shop full-time but does occasionally fill in at Dr. Laskey’s in emergency. She originally planned to work one day a week at the office but has been so busy at the juice bar she has not been able to do that.

They juice everything in the shop. All the produce is organic, and they use a commercial cold-press juicer. They juice it, bottle it and put it in the grab-and-go cooler so people can come in and grab a juice. People do juice cleanses, which is where they just drink juice for the day. It is great for fasting, she explained. Along with that, they make smoothies and acai bowls which is like a really thick smoothie on the bottom topped with blueberry, strawberry, granola, almond butter, and you eat it with a spoon. A lot of people stop and get it for breakfast or lunch. They have been very popular, she said.

Her mom was skeptical at first. She is not a fan of this type of thing, and did not think Okeechobee would take to the idea, but she has since told her daughter, “If I tell you no, don’t listen to me. Just go and do it.”

One of Mrs. Tumoszwicz’s favorite things about the juice bar is that it isn’t just health nuts who come in. They are from all walks of life, she said. One lady who comes in for a smoothie has a caretaker. Elementary kids come in for juice or smoothies. Day workers come in and get them for their lunch boxes, especially when it is hot outside. They get everyone from people who just like it for the flavor to people who drink them for the health benefits, and she loves it all. They have a lot of kids who come in, and “we can sneak kale into the juice without the kids catching on,” she whispered. “It doesn’t taste like you are drinking kale.” They have some that are different colors, like Mermaid Water, which is pink and blue. It looks cool, but sneaks in some health benefits.

Her husband owns a machine shop and still manages to find time to help her with her shop, picking up supplies out of town when they can’t get them delivered. He also comes in to help with juicing, because that takes hours. Each bottle has a pound to a pound and a half of produce in it, so you could never eat as much as you can drink, she said. “If you are trying to get a lot of vitamins and nutrients, this is the way to go.” They do not add any sugars or artificial sweeteners. They sweeten with apples or pears or pineapples. In the smoothies, they use dates or bananas.

Her children help out in the business as well. Her daughter Lilly-Ann is 11, and her son J.T. is 8. Lilly loves to run the register, and J.T. is a great taste tester, she said.

According to Ashley Roberts, who suggested Mrs. Tumoszwicz for the Inspiring Okeechobee series, “Nicole genuinely cares about this town and the people in it. She spends so much time getting to know the person who walks in the door and helping them in whatever way she can. She left her career to start this business because she believes in health and helping people so much. She is an inspiring woman of God, a wife to her childhood sweetheart, an amazing mother of two great kids and an incredible friend.”

If you would like to nominate someone for the Inspiring Okeechobee Series, please email Cathy Womble at cwomble@newszap.com.

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