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Vitality Bowls offers healthy ‘super’ foods

BY THE MERCURY NEWS — East County’s first superfood café is hoping to boost customer’s diets with ultra-healthy foods like acai and kale served in a variety of bowls, smoothies, salads, paninis and juices. read more

Vitality Bowls opens this week at The Streets of Brentwood next to Starbucks and Red Robin. The cafe will be preparing items like the Detox Bowl, which includes organic acai, almond milk, flaxseed, kale, spirulina, honey, almonds and a variety of fresh fruits.

“Here in Brentwood, there are not a lot of healthy food concepts. It is an underserved location in terms of healthy food,” café owner Ameet Seth said.

Vitality Bowls started with its San Ramon location four years ago and now has 15 locations, including cafes in Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Dublin, Lafayette, Redwood City and San Francisco.

“We have offerings that nobody has in this area. We carry things that you can’t just go to your average restaurant to get,” said the company’s founder, Tara Gilad.

According to Gilad, the superfood movement is not just a trend because people are more mindful about what they eat these days, including the next generation. Vitality Bowls makes organic salads and their meats are preservative-free.

“Everyone wants to eat healthy and the new generation eats healthier than we did when we grew up,” she said. “Every bowl is absolutely delicious and topped differently. Our younger generation is standing in line to eat our bowls.”

Vitality Bowls also tries to recruit and mentor young employees from the surrounding area. The Brentwood location has hired 27 part-time employees with many from Liberty, Freedom and Deer Valley high schools.

Although Gilad studied health science in college and was raised by organic farmers, her true inspiration for creating Vitality Bowls was her daughter’s severe food allergies.

“We started this business for her. We created a restaurant that is allergy-safe,” Gilad said. The company also tries to be completely all-natural and healthy. For example, their smoothies consist of all fruits and vegetables with no additional sugar and are almost half as many calories as the typical smoothie served at a health food café.

“We are trying to promote a healthy lifestyle and tell people that it isn’t a side dish served here,” Seth said. “You will be full and feel fantastic after it.”

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Fruit-powered food chain hitting Cherry Creek

BY BUSINESS DEN – A California restaurant chain with a menu that features exotic fruits will open its first Colorado location in December, and it has two more locations planned through 2017.

Fast-casual concept Vitality Bowls’ first Colorado franchise will open in December at 2702 E. Third Ave. in Cherry Creek. read more

“Colorado’s a lot like California where people are active and eat well,” Vitality Bowls founder Tara Gilad said. “We looked all over the metro area and decided we wanted to open somewhere near the core of the city where people are into healthy food. So we decided to go to Cherry Creek.”

The chain specializes in yogurt-like berry bowls, using ingredients like acai berries, dragon fruit and flax seed. The menu also features paninis, soups, salads and smoothies for the less adventurous eater.

Franchisee Venkat Duvvuri will open the 1,400-square-foot Cherry Creek store. Duvvuri signed a 36-month lease at $40 per square foot per year, he said. The restaurant is his first crack at running a Vitality Bowls franchise.

“We were looking for a business opportunity and we wanted to introduce this,” Duvvuri said. “Our goal is to open up three locations in Colorado, one in Boulder next year and then another the year after that.”

Duvvuri said he’ll hire between 20 and 25 employees to staff the restaurant.

Vitality Bowls uses in-house architects to draw up plans for all of its locations. The company is getting construction bids on the project. Michael P. Griffin of ERA Herman Group Real Estate brokered the deal.

Vitality Bowls will move into a space on Third Avenue. Photo by George Demopoulos. Gilad said that startup costs for a franchisee average around $200,000, including franchising fees and inventory.

“Younger generations are much more educated and interested in what they put into their bodies, so we’re very popular with them – kids, junior high students and young adults,” she said.

About 50 percent of diners eat in-house, with the rest taking their food to-go, Gilad said. The company also caters and will run catering out of its Denver location.

Gilad founded the company with her husband in California in 2011. The couple opened their second location five months later and a third a year after that. In 2013, the company began selling franchises.

The chain currently has 15 locations.


Vitality Bowls Opens in Irving

BY DALLAS FOOD NERD – If you are unfamiliar with Açaí Bowls®, it’s this magical treat made out of frozen, blended açaí berry with toppings ranging from fruit to granola. Basically, it’s “healthy ice cream” and I have a strange obsession with it. I typically make them at home but didn’t quite like the amount of work that goes into it. The clean up is even worse! I’ve always wished that there was a place nearby where I could get an Açaí Bowl® instead of having to deal with the chaos of making them. My dream came true when Vitality Bowls opened up a location in Irving, TX last month! read more

Vitality Bowls is conveniently placed in the Las Colinas Village shopping center just behind Starbucks and Taco Diner. They’ve got ample seating, which is perfect for the amount of customers that stop by. I was honestly surprised with how many people were coming in and were loving it! I feel like Açaí Bowls® are still somewhat of a foreign concept to Texans but it was nice to see how many locals were eager to try it during their lunch break. There were even customers who admitted that it was their second or third time at Vitality Bowls just for that week! I obviously don’t blame them. There are plenty of other options to choose from besides their bowls: smoothies, juices, and paninis are also part of their menu.

Their Ham Panini was actually the perfect size for consumption, and an even better deal when added to a bowl (for just +$3.99)! The combination of the sun dried tomatoes and ham was satisfying along with the warm and perfectly-pressed bread. I definitely recommend it! The dijon may have been a little too strong for me, but I’m not a fan of mustard to begin with. My husband said it was fine, though.

My husband tried Vitality Bowls’ Bowl of the Month: The Brain Bowl. Aptly named because it has ingredients that help improve memory and encourage the growth of neural stem cells! It’s made from the combination of açaí and acerola with coconut milk, gingko, kale, banana, pineapple, kiwi, granola, blueberries, and chia seeds. He’s generally a picky eater but he devoured this!

I ordered the Dragon Bowl, which is by far my favorite item on their menu. It’s a blend of açaí and dragon fruit, mango juice, bananas, and more. Topped with strawberries, kiwi, goji berries, bee pollen, almonds, and honey (with extra granola), it’s definitely an explosion of flavors and textures! We only got medium sized bowls, but you get a better deal with a large bowl and you can just take home whatever you don’t finish. My sweet-toothed self thoroughly enjoyed this bowl. I’d choose it over ice cream any day!

If you’re trying to introduce healthy components into your palate but are a little wary, Vitality Bowls is a great starting point. They are very knowledgeable about every ingredient that makes it into the bowls and will help you make sure that you find something that you’ll like. If you’re not ready to dive into their Açaí Bowls®, you can always stop by to try their smoothies, juices, or paninis!

Vitality Bowls is located at 5910 N. MacArthur Blvd Suite 139 Irving, TX 75039.

4 Superfood Acai Bowl Recipes

BY DANDELION MOMS – Last week my daughter and I tried out a new restaurant called Vitality Bowls that features Acai bowls filled with a variety of different acai blends and toppings.  We decided to try out the Warrior Bowl I think mostly because my daughter liked the name and the employee told me it was the least sweet of the bunch.  I have to tell you we both fell in love on the first bite!  It was so refreshing and is a cross between a smoothie and yogurt.  Add on top some healthy granola, fruit of choice and nuts.  There is quite a bit of natural sugar in these bowls so if you are sensitive to sugars be sure to not eat the whole bowl though you might be tempted it is so delicious.  Also, acai is a detoxifier so this could be another reason to build up your serving size! read more

Lunch: Light but Mighty

BY INDIANAPOLIS MONTHLY – Lines form quickly for the acai bowls at both Indy locations of this California-based superfood cafe. The antioxidant-rich berries get churned with nutrient-dense ingredients, such as chia seeds and bee pollen, to form a smoothie-like base and then are topped with low-cal treats like granola and bananas. The Power Bowl, with spinach and strawberries, makes for a happy medium between the sweet, fruity options and the veggie-heavy combos. 5650 W. 86th St., 661-3005; 110 W. Main St., Carmel, 581-9496 read more