BY Times Free Press – One of America’s fastest growing healthy food cafes famous for its acai bowls is expanding into the Chattanooga market.

Memphis entrepreneur Ben Shaw plans to open the first Vitality Bowls cafe in Tennessee next year in Chattanooga — the first of what he envisions as multiple locations in the market for the superfood cafe.

“I’m eager to introduce Tennessee to all that Vitality Bowls has to offer,” said Shaw, a former vice president of operations at Mimeo.com who started Nourish Nooga LLC earlier this year to develop the Vitality Bowls franchise in Chattanooga. “Eating healthy is something I am very passionate about and Vitality Bowls is a great concept that I think will work very well in the Chattanooga market.”

The new cafes will offer high nutritional foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a cafe environment. Vitality Bowls’ antioxidant-rich menu is made to order for each customer and includes açaí bowls and smoothies prepared without any ingredient fillers like ice, frozen yogurt, or artificial preservatives.

The menu also features a variety of superfoods, including graviola, acerola, organic mangosteen, organic camu camu, organic spirulina, organic aronia, organic moringa, organic maca, bee pollen and more.

The cafe will feature its Green Bowl (with graviola, organic spirulina and organic hemp seeds), the Dragon Bowl (featuring pitaya, coconut milk and bananas) and the signature Vitality Bowl (with organic açaí, strawberries and honey). Fresh juices, smoothies, soups, panini and salads also are available in each cafe.

Roy Gilad and Tara Gilad founded the brand in 2011 in San Ramon, California as a result of discovering their daughter’s severe food allergies and wanting to find healthy, safe food alternatives.

Since franchising began in 2014, the brand has grown to more than 135 cafes that are either open or are under development. The brand has four stores in Georgia, but the new Chattanooga location will be the first in Tennessee.

Shaw said he is working with a commercial Realtor and expects to soon have a site for his first Vitality Bowls restaurant and will follow that up with another location elsewhere in Chattanooga.

“Ben is exactly the right entrepreneur to grow the brand in Chattanooga,” said Tara Gilad, co-founder of Vitality Bowls. “His business intellect is outstanding. We are eager to see Ben fill the demand for a healthy fast casual cafe in Chattanooga.”

Shaw said he has been eager to return to Chattanooga, where his parents moved when he was 13 years old. He hired a consultant to help identify the best business to open and decided on Vitality Bowls because of his interest in eating and living in healthy ways.

“I love all of the outdoor activities in Chattanooga and after doing several races in that area, I knew I wanted to get back there,” said Shaw, who is relocating from Memphis to Chattanooga to run his new business.