A bright new spot has opened up at Nicholson Gateway and it's offering a sweet acai treat to all its customers.
Frutta Bowls had its grand opening on Oct. 13 and a soft opening the day prior. The store is located right off of Nicholson Drive in front of the new Matherne's Market and Wendy’s. The inside gives off a study nook vibe while also surrounding you with the smell of fresh fruit and the other fresh ingredients they put in their specialty products.
“Acai bowls are our specialty,” Regional Territory Director Trish McLeod said. “You can really build a bowl however you would like. The bases are a pure blend of fresh fruit or acai and we also do hot oatmeal bowls and smoothies. Soon we will be launching artisan toast and coffee but our main specialty is the acai bowls.”
The Frutta Bowls menu includes the standard acai bowl along with Pitaya Bowls, Kale Bowls, the Superfood Bowl and smoothies. Many of the ingredients that go into the bowls and smoothies are from a distributor, but McLeod said they are hoping to find a local farmers market to work with for some of their fresh ingredients.
The University’s Frutta Bowls is the very first located in the state of Louisiana, and the franchise will be continuing its expansion west after it has planted its southernmost roots.
“The concept started in New Jersey,” McLeod said. “A lot of franchises have opened in the New Jersey area and have slowly traveled down the coast. In the southern region, the concept is still kind of new ... so our biggest challenge right now is educating our customers on acai and the health benefits of it.”
The portions offered provide you with the vitamins and minerals of a full meal, all coming from its natural qualities. There are no added sugars to any of the Frutta Bowls products. Everything comes from the fresh ingredients provided by its distributors.
McLeod said Frutta Bowls’ main demographic is millennials, which is why there is no better place for them than on a college campus. The workers are hoping that they can not only provide students with a healthy meal between classes, but also educate them on the benefits that acai has for the body.
Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, the benefits may seem endless.
“Acai is a berry that’s grown in the Amazon,” McLeod said. “It’s harvested there and within four hours it's flash frozen in their facility in Brazil and it's shipped to us in frozen form. It has antioxidants and vitamins and minerals and we mix it to make that base. The berry helps increase brain function and has possible anti cancer effects and they’re low in sugar.”
Passing by Frutta Bowls will introduce you to the specials they are offering with a specials board centered in the middle of the walk way. Currently on display are the fall specialty bowls, including the “Smores Bowl,” “Pumpkin Bowl” and the “Candy Apple Crunch Bowl.”
The “Smores Bowl” is more on the indulgent side with its graham cracker and roasted marshmallow topping, whereas the “Pumpkin Bowl” mixes the acai base with pumpkin puree. McLeod said the “Candy Apple Crunch Bowl” brings in the green apple and caramel flavor commonly associated with the fall season. She likes to say Frutta Bowls is as healthy as they are indulgent.
Frutta Bowls is currently in talks with the university about allowing for TigerCash to be used at their store. They are also speaking with big name delivery companies like Waitr and UberEats to offer anyone the chance to experience Frutta Bowls on the go.
“It’s a wonderful location,” McLeod said. “We really want to be part of the community, not just here selling bowls”
The franchise is also looking to partner with local and campus organizations and benefit what they stand for. They have already partnered with Zeta Tau Alpha to support their breast cancer awareness initiative. McLeod said they are looking to spread the “local love” by hosting giveback nights and donating proceeds to causes they support.
Frutta Bowls is a fresh new place to stop in and get a healthy treat that’ll last you for much of the day. Students looking for an inviting place to enjoy a meal, study or just hang with some friends may find their home on the plush couches that welcome you at the door. Frutta Bowls is leaving its southern mark on the University’s campus while inviting students to leave their own paw prints on their walls in return.
“It’s a fresh product it’s a healthy product and it taste great,” General Manager David Heidke said. “I really think this is going to be a big hit in Baton Rouge and at LSU.”