The emerging franchise concept is bringing the increasingly popular acai bowl trend to new communities across the East Coast.
BY: CASSIDY MCALOON – SOBOL CONTRIBUTOR
When Jason Mazzarone tried his first acai bowl, he had no idea that it would lead to the launch of a franchise concept with unrivaled growth potential.
He first fell in love with the trend when he was living in San Diego, California for culinary school. After realizing the nutritional value behind the delicious meal, acai bowls soon became a daily part of Mazzarone’s routine. That’s why he was disappointed to find that acai bowls weren’t readily available when he moved back to his home in New York. So he started making his own recipes to satisfy that craving.
Mazzarone’s family became curious about the trend, and decided to try his acai bowls for themselves. They became an instant hit, which convinced Mazzarone that it was time to introduce the trend to a broader audience. To see if they would catch on among consumers in the area, he started selling acai bowls out of his family’s Italian ice store in the mornings. When fans started lining up for their own custom creation, Mazzarone decided to launch a brand dedicated to the trend. And ever since SoBol’s flagship store opened its doors in 2014, the brand has been experiencing success.
“It became clear to us right away that we had started something special. Especially as health and wellness continue to play a major role in people’s lives, there’s a real demand among consumers not just in New York—but across the country—for a more nutritious meal option that doesn’t sacrifice great taste,” said Mazzarone. “By creating Long Island SoBol we’ve been able to get in on the ground level of the booming acai movement. Because this type of concept is so new, we have the opportunity to position ourselves at the forefront of the increasingly competitive industry.”
To ensure that its concept stands out from the crowd, SoBol offers its customers a simple and straightforward menu. The brand only uses fresh ingredients, including the Brazilian super fruit acai, which is a heart-healthy, Vitamin C boosting and antioxidant rich food. After the acai is blended, consumers have the opportunity to add toppings to customizable bowls that include fresh fruit, nut butters, coconut and honey. Every bowl is created to be nutritious, filling and energizing, which means that they can be enjoyed at any time during the day.
SoBol’s menu isn’t limited to acai—the brand also offers consumers a wide range of delicious, satisfying food. The brand’s selection of homemade soups, salads, wraps, breakfast burritos, empanadas, quesadillas, flat breads and smoothies ensure that there’s something for everyone to enjoy when they walk through SoBol’s doors.
“There’s no doubt that acai bowls are our specialty. We’ve perfected our method of creating perfectly blended bowls that are filled with unique flavors and tastes. But our menu doesn’t end there,” Mazzarone said. “It has always been our mission to provide our guests with top quality food that inspires them to make healthy choices for the rest of their day. That’s why our lineup of soups, salads, sandwiches and beyond aligns with our commitment to finding the right balance between taste and nutrition.”
With four locations that are currently up and running in New York and another 12 that are in different stages of development, it’s clear that demand for health-conscious and delicious food is high among consumers when looking for a meal or snack on the go. And as Sobol continues to break into new communities across the East Coast with the help of local franchisees, the brand is anticipating that its unique concept will take off on a national level.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be a part of the SoBol brand. Demand for our product is at an all-time high, which means that we’re in a great position to reach new customers wherever we open our doors for business,” said Robin Graf, director of sales and business development for SoBol. “Between our commitment to quality and emphasis on exceptional customer service, we’re positioned as the brand to beat. And as acai bowls become more popular across the country, we’re eager to capitalize on our momentum and tap into that previously unrealized growth potential.”