Hungry Surfer – Big Idea

 

Jason Mazzarone was a student and a surfer in Southern California. He’d get a little hungry after an afternoon of riding waves and would often stop at an acai bowl stand to grab a healthy meal. “They didn’t have this back East.” That’s when the lightbulb turned on – a business idea. He would bring the acai bowls back home to the East Coast – Long Island, New York.

“a what bowl?”

  • Acai bowls are touted as an antioxidant-rich superfood prepared from puréed acai berries — which are fruits grown in Central and South America — and served as a smoothie in a bowl or glass, topped with fruit, nuts, seeds, or granola.

 

Biz Testing

In order to test-out his idea, he added his acai bowls and smoothies to the menu at his family’s Italian Ice shop in New York. They were a hit! So, he opened up his own acai bowl store. The demand grew. A year later he had so much interest that the SoBol franchise was born.

 

Birth of a Franchise

  • SoBol signed 34 franchise contracts a year after opening
  • “We were getting 10 new organic leads per week, and they grew more rapidly with each new store”
  • Existing owners were quickly eager to expand
    • Many opening up 2nd and 3rd stories within their first few months own owning one
    • Growth accelerated with increasing consumer interest
  • 2021 à 52 franchises in 8 states and growing quickly
    • Designed to operate more like a small mom & pop shop
  • Entrepreneur’s Top New Franchise ranking in 2019 and 2020
  • Entrepreneur’s Top Food Franchises of 2020

 

The “SoBol” Name

  • “So” à So Cal … the Southern California influence
  • “Bol” à bowl without the “w” …
    • …because in addition to bowls they also sell smoothies and soups

 

Why So Popular?