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BY THE UNIVERSITY STAR – Vitality Bowls offers a variety of fast and healthy food choices, including one of the biggest food trends of today: acai bowls.

Founded in 2011 in California, Vitality Bowls opened June 7 in San Marcos, one of the company’s newest locations. It branded itself as a superfood café; its menu items include superfoods such as graviola, acerola, goji berries and the ever-popular acai berry. The acai berry is a blackish-purple berry native to the Brazilian rainforests. It contains antioxidants, fiber and heart-healthy fats as well as other nutrients. It tends to be popular as a main ingredient in smoothie bowls.

Roy and Tara Gilad, founders, initiated this superfood café notion due to their daughter’s severe food allergies. They wanted to get her the most powerful and healthy ingredients this planet has to offer in an allergy-free, no cross-contamination environment.

According to the Vitality Bowls website, their strong commitment is to bring health and wellness to every community across the country by selling fresh, high-quality superfoods.

“We believe our food can change lives,” Tara Gilad said. “And it doesn’t hurt that it tastes delicious too.”

Ashley Jaynes, franchise owner, is responsible for opening the San Marcos location. As a fitness and nutrition counselor, Jaynes said the company sells products she stands behind. She said foods the business offers are not common in the area and wanted to help change that.

“I felt (opening Vitality Bowls) is a way to provide wholesome, nutritional-based food for people to nourish themselves,” Jaynes said. “That is super important because that is what I do with my clients and that is what Vitality Bowls is about.”

The menu includes a variety of acai bowls, smoothies, juices, paninis, salads, soups, breakfast items and kombucha. The acai bowls and smoothies are completely pure, containing no ice, yogurt, added sugar, artificial preservatives or trans fat. Most of the ingredients are organic, including the granola, and meats are only from humane practicing farmers