On Friday, November 6th, Playa Bowls, the Jersey Shore’s original acai bowl shop, will celebrate the opening of their milestone 100th location in the United States & Puerto Rico. The 100th store, located in Darien, Connecticut, will be Playa Bowls’ third store in the state, and will open in partnership with local entrepreneurs Steve Dimovski and Jarrod Jackette.
Playa Bowls™ is the vision of founders Robert Giuliani and Abby Taylor — Jersey Shore natives & long-time surfers. While chasing summer on surf trips to Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, California and Hawaii, they discovered that almost every exotic surf town they visited offered their own unique version of an acai or pitaya bowl – both energizing superfruits with a myriad of health benefits. They decided to recreate their favorite recipes with their own twist at home at the Jersey Shore. “Along the way, I was trying acai bowls and got hooked on the taste, the health benefits, and the unique flavors highlighted in each country,” Co-Founder Abby Taylor explains. “I came home and couldn’t stop thinking about them. I began to make them for my family and friends. We realized we wanted to continue to share our passion for these bowls with everyone at the Jersey Shore. It’s incredible to see how much we’ve grown since then.”
After making a deal with the owner of the pizza shop they lived above on 8th Avenue in Belmar, NJ, Abby & Rob bought a blender, a patio table, a fridge and a freezer, and set up a makeshift pop up stand on the sidewalk. Over the next few weeks, they told everyone who would listen about the unique flavors and health benefits of acai and pitaya. As the word spread about their delicious bowls, the lines for their stand got longer each day. Rob and Abby realized it was time to take their business to the next level. Fast forward six years, and Playa Bowls is on the cusp of opening its 100th location!
Over the past six years, Playa Bowls has grown organically with a mix of franchised and company locations, employing 2,500+ hardworking team members in 16 states and territories. In 2019 alone, Playa Bowls sold more than 6 million bowls, and was on track to sell up to 10 million in 2020 before COVID-19 hit. Throughout the pandemic, the corporate team has worked alongside their franchise partners to navigate loans, government mandates in their individual states, diversity training, and a bowl donation program that’s served hundreds of first responders across the country. Despite COVID-19, Playa Bowls continues to grow, opening 9 additional locations since March.
Before the close of 2020, Playa Bowls will open five new locations: Reston,VA – Sparta, NJ- Temple University, PA – Warrington, PA – and a location in Littleton, Colorado – the brand’s first store out West. In 2021, Playa Bowls plans to expand to cities including San Antonio, New Orleans, Chicago, Columbus, Scottsdale, and Coral Springs. “The sky is the limit. We’re so proud of how far we’ve come in such a short time. It hasn’t always been easy, but we’ve learned so much along the way, and can’t wait to bring the flavors of #Pineappleland to a city near you.” says co-founder Rob Giuliani.