Lalitha Viswanathan (‘22)
AThe acai shop that originated from the Jersey shore has brought its delicious bowls, smoothies and juices to the Towne Place at Garden State Park. The Playa Bowls shop opened on December 8, 2018.
Manager Dave Smith said “I think the reason they decided to make a location here was because so many people from Cherry Hill go down the shore over the summer. So, Playa Bowls’ location here is to provide a year-round option of acai bowls.”
Playa Bowls continues to grow in popularity, and gets new customers every week. Smith notes that the Nutella Acai bowl is the best-seller, which is topped with granola, banana, pineapple, strawberry, coconut flakes and Nutella. The second most popular bowl is the Pura Vida bowl, topped with granola, blueberry, strawberry and honey. Finally, the third best-seller is the Dragon Berry Pitaya bowl, with granola, blueberry, strawberry and honey.
At Playa Bowls, they define acai as an “antioxidant filled superfruit from the amazon in Brazil, [it’s a] small purple berry, [with a] cocoa berry taste, filled with healthy omegas.” Also, pitaya is “dragon fruit, [a] superfruit indigenous to Central and South America, [it has] hot pink insides, low in sugar, high in fiber” according to Playa Bowls. Playa Bowls also offers Coconut Bowls, Green Bowls, and Chia Pudding Bowls, just to name a few. There also is an option for mixed bowls, which are two bases combined into one bowl.
“These acai bowls can be customized to be as healthy as someone wants to be,” Smith said. “People in the Cherry Hill area seem to be very interested in healthy eating.”
As he recalls, the people ordering the Nutella Acai bowls tend to go overboard with the toppings. However, Playa Bowls offers very healthy foods and drinks, such as gluten free soups, oatmeal, as well as fresh fruit and vegetable juices.
In efforts to gain more popularity, Playa Bowls tries to publicize through Instagram and advertisements in different local newspapers. Also, they’ve been present at multiple parties. At a recent Orangetheory Fitness party, Playa Bowls brought delicious bowls and drinks to gain popularity.
Their new storefront is one of the largest in size, and has a very pleasing aesthetic. It has pineapples, twinkling lights and a very neat and colorful chalkboard menu. During the holiday season, they decorated with holiday lights and a Christmas tree.
Smith has always had a passion for food. He went to culinary school and became a chef at a few restaurants before becoming the manager at Playa Bowls. The co-founders of Playa Bowls are Robert Giuliani and Abby Taylor. Giuliani used his background in construction and leadership to create Playa Bowls. Taylor created the interior design of the Playa Bowls, providing the aesthetic lights, pineapples and the logo.
This new acai shop in Cherry Hill is supplying people with healthy and delicious bowls to help people adapt to a tasty yet healthy lifestyle.