Looking for a new healthy meal option? New acai bowl chain conquers hunger and fills hearts

(BPT) - You have a busy, active lifestyle and want a quick meal that fuels you rather than bogs you down. You're over smoothies and salads, craving something that excites and satisfies your taste buds while still providing you the nutrition you know your body needs to feel its best.

The acai bowl fits the bill, and with Nautical Bowl locations opening nationwide, your fix of delicious superfoods packed with nutrients is as easy as stopping by your local store. No Nautical Bowls store in your location yet? This is your opportunity to be on the forefront of this hot trend and start one yourself.

What exactly is an acai bowl?

Acai - pronounced ah-sah-EE - is a berry loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. Called a superfood by many nutritionists, the fruit can be blended to serve as a base for a bowl, which then is layered with other healthy ingredients and toppings.

Nautical Bowls is unique because they focus on making the best bowls to suit anyone's taste preferences, using some of the most well-known superfoods and wholesome ingredients available. Some of the other bases that can be layered include acai, pitaya (dragon fruit), coconut, mango, cacao and chia pudding. Toppings include fresh ground peanut and almond butters, granola, a variety of seeds and drizzles like honey.

The bowls can be enjoyed for a meal or snack anytime, like a quick breakfast on the way to the office or a post-workout snack. Despite the eye-catching colors from each layered ingredient, these are not a dessert. The vibrant hues come from an array of nutrients in each ingredient, so you're eating a rainbow the way Mother Nature intended. All bowls are plant-based, gluten, dairy and soy free, contain zero refined sugars and are made with organic, all-natural ingredients.

A unique opportunity

The first time you try an acai bowl, you'll understand the hype. Not only is the Nautical Bowls product delicious, but stores are cheery and a positive part of the communities they serve. This business concept and the food options themselves are incredibly unique against alternatives. As more people prioritize a healthy lifestyle, it's no wonder these bowls are garnering growing enthusiasm among people of all ages.

This is what caught the attention of Peter Taunton, a franchisee expert with more than 25 years working in the health and fitness space. Taunton met with founders Rachel and Bryant Amundson to discuss their current business and provide insights as to what they may consider should they decide to expand. After evaluating the business and appreciating the simplicity of the operations and the relevance of the product offering, he suggested that with some changes, this could be a very franchise-able business.

Not having franchise experience, the Amundsons and Taunton formed a partnership and Nautical Bowls Franchising LLC was born.

Taunton said what captured his eye with this opportunity was Nautical Bowls' commitment to serving the perfect, healthy meal replacement for those looking to make a pivot in their eating choices and lifestyle. Nautical Bowls acai bowls are plant-based, gluten, dairy and soy free, organic and feature all natural ingredients.

The business and the product fits exactly what Taunton looks for in an opportunity. Not only is the product delicious, but the concept and business plan is ideal for franchising. Plus, we're in a unique time that presents a growing opportunity: As more people prioritize their health and want snack and food options that fit their busy lifestyle, they are looking for places like Nautical Bowls. It's something they can feel good about eating and serving to friends and family," said Taunton.

Due to Taunton's vast expertise in the category, his stamp of approval is notable. Just like any other franchise he's exploring, he says these are the key components of success:

1. Product relevance

People are eagerly seeking healthy meal-replacement alternatives beyond the typical salad. This is evident because the healthy fast-casual space is a fast-growing category in the food service industry. The product is tasty and can be customized for each taste preference, plus it travels well and can even be stored in the freezer for future use.

2. Minimal cash investment

Starting a franchise can be expensive, putting it out of reach for many people. However, Nautical Bowls offers a reasonable option, in most cases only requiring a $100,000 cash investment from owners with third-party financing available for the rest.

3. Simple business concept

Owners don't need restaurant experience to own this franchise. This is a simple business to own and operate. There are no cooktops or exhaust hoods, and no complicated culinary skills are required. Furthermore, there is only one manager and typically 15 part-time employees.

4. Flexibility

Most of the Nautical Bowls franchisees are semi-absent owners. They hire a manager and staff to run daily operations. This makes it a great option if you work full time or are retired and looking for an income stream without it overtaking your days.

'I often talk with people who want to make a pivot in their lives. I ask them to think what interests them most and the majority of people want something that fills their cup by helping others in some manner," said Taunton. "This falls right in line with the culture we try to instill in our stores: we don't sell bowls, we serve them. It's that servant mentality that becomes the cornerstone of the culture we create within our stores and hopefully how we are perceived in the communities we serve."

For more information, including franchise opportunities, go to nauticalbowls.com.

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