The Sugar Bowl’s Strawberry Cheesecake, Espresso Oreo, Munchie Madness, Birthday Cake, Raspberry Lemon Italian Ice and other creative flavors of ice cream have arrived in Fayette. The owners of the two popular Sugar Bowl locations in Decorah, Nathan and Brittany Todd opened Sugar Bowl Fayette on Saturday, March 6.
A native of Fort Madison, Iowa, Nathan’s passion for baseball and the opportunity to play the game and achieve an education at Luther College first drew him to Decorah. He first met Brittany, who majored in vocal performance at Luther, in 2008 when Brittany shared with Nathan a picture of him pitching. Brittany had taken the photo as a work-study assignment through Luther’s photo bureau. The work study position led to not only the opening of Photography by Brittany, but also to the couple’s marriage three years later. Brittany has since expanded her business to including speaking and influencer roles with @BrittanyToddOfficial: Keynote and Motivational Speaker.
After graduating in 2009 from Luther with a degree in physical education, Nathan spent the next seven years teaching in school districts throughout northeast Iowa. While studying for his master’s degree at Western Governors University, Nathan researched the Sugar Bowl Ice Cream Company in Decorah for a graduate school paper. The more Nathan researched the business, the more it seemed to fit the couple’s plans and in May 2017 they purchased the company from its original owner Craig Running.
“We love the college town vibe and more than anything we want all of our locations to always be somewhere that our customers feel safe and comfortable to gather, study or just be together,” said Brittany, a native of Forestville, Wisconsin. “Hopefully, sooner than later, we can welcome much larger groups to meet our wonderful staff and enjoy all the delicious ice cream and sandwiches we will serve at our new Fayette location.”
She explains the idea of the Sugar Bowl setting up shop in Fayette was first suggested by Upper Iowa University marketing major Yi Mun Choo of Selangor, Malaysia, who was interviewing for an internship at the Decorah location.
“By the end of the conversation we were looking into finding details regarding a third location,” Brittany said. “Fayette allows us the opportunity to operate a business that isn’t within walking distance of our home, while at the same time it isn’t too far to drive to in a short amount of time. We certainly want to be present at the new location as much as we can, but we are equally excited to allow our new manager more control over the business as we expand.”
Sugar Bowl Fayette features 16 rotating hard serve ice cream flavors, and will eventually offer 18 permanent options in pre-packed pint form. In the near future customers will also find Country View Dairy froyo on display, but for the time being it will be behind the counter until all of the full-sized equipment arrives.
The most unique menu item, and the most fun to put together, are Flights. Those who choose this popular menu item receive a smorgasbord of taste in 4, 6 or 12 flight options with different flavors of ice cream or raw (egg-free) cookie dough. Patrons who choose the 12-flavor flight, can swap out two or four flavors for toppings.
“The Sugar Bowl Fayette staff is anxious to offer this “create-your-own sundae bar” right at our customers’ tables when we feel it is safe to allow them to stay for inside seating,” Brittany added. “The health and safety of our staff and customers is always our priority, and opening safely during COVID is certainly at the forefront of all of our decisions right now.”
The Sugar Bowl sandwich menu includes its top selling Not Yo’ Mama’s Grilled Cheese featuring onion popyseed bread with pepperjack cheese and raspberry topping. The bread is made locally by Cluck Ewe Farm and Bakery in Decorah. Customers also enjoy the classic Mama’s Grilled Cheese, which features American cheese on wheat bread. The classic sandwich and poppyseed option can both be ordered gluten-free.
“We also have other grab-and-go items and a few other secrets up our sleeves,” Brittany said. “No matter what our day’s menu may be featuring, you can be assured that when you walk through the door at the Sugar Bowl you are family, and therefore we have high expectations for our staff as well as our customers. We hope you see our entire staff smiling, working hard, having fun, and doing their very best to ensure that you feel safe, welcome and appreciated no matter whether it is your first time through the door or your one-hundredth.”
“Our staff and customers’ experience is our number one priority each and every day,” Nathan said. “We promote a kind and respectful atmosphere and everyone who shares these principles are always at home here. Whether you’re buying one of everything or just one item from our menu while you chat or study the day away, know that you are welcome in our space.”
Sugar Bowl Fayette is located in the former Fayette Sweets Café in downtown Fayette. It will initially be open noon-9 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Tentative plans call for the hours to expand to 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday later this spring/early summer.
The UIU-owned building is also home of Shrubb’s Street Eatery, located on the second floor. The gourmet restaurant has been operated by UIU alumni Billy Shrubb ’09 and Brandi (Woodson) Shrubb ’00 since 2018.