Abby Taylor and Rob Giuliani used to spend their days on the Jersey Shore with a Vitamix blender and some fresh fruit to make açaí bowls for the beach goers.
After spending their summers surfing in places like Costa Rica and Panama, Taylor and Giuliani were inspired to bring the delicious, healthy superfood back to Jersey. Three months after they started selling the bowls Abby and Rob were able to open their first store: Playa Bowls.
The Jersey Shore-based restaurant has made its way to Charleston. Located on the corner of Warren Street and King Street, Playa Bowls Charleston was opened by Brooke Beauvais and John Tramontano who have been married for ten years.
Playa Bowls is all about the community. While the restaurant has over 50 locations on the east coast, each one is unique in its own way and makes a point to be a welcoming hang out for locals and tourists alike.
“It is technically a franchise,” said Beauvais. “But I like to say it’s a franchise with feeling because every location is completely different.”
Playa Bowls may be a franchise, but it’s a lifestyle brand.
The light, airy space, light grey laminate floors and brightly painted walls draw people in. It is the perfect place to snap an Instagram post and the perfect place to hang out and catch up with friends.
“It’s warm, it’s fun, it’s quirky and I think that’s what sets us apart,” said Beauvais. “It’s more than just coming to get an
Photo by Grace Samuelson
açaí bowl or a coconut bowl or a smoothie, it’s kind of where you want to hang out.”
The space is open to anyone and everyone, but it’s an especially great place for college students to go. There’s free Wi-Fi and plenty of seating, not to mention they give out ten percent student discounts and the store is now part of the Off Campus Meal Plan.
Playa Bowls has only been part of King Street for around seven weeks, but it has already made its mark in the community.
Beauvais and Tramontano are taking Playa Bowl’s community mentality and making them real. Playa Bowls is already involved with soccer clubs, local schools, Saltwater Cycle, Vitaflow and they are working to be more involved with the College of Charleston.
Numerous College of Charleston clubs are already in touch with Playa Bowls. The vegan club often has their meetings in the store and they hope to welcome more.
For the month of October, they are providing a portion of their proceeds to “Mary’s Place,” a house where cancer patients or recovering cancer patients can go learn to cook, get a massage or hang out with people going through similar things that they are.
Playa Bowls appeals to all kinds of eaters. They offer an açaí base, a banana base, a coconut base, a chia seed pudding base and a green base and all of them are delicious. Even for the uneducated “healthy eats” individual, there’s something for everyone, and Tramontano and Beauvais are willing to help people learn about the menu before ordering.
“It speaks to a lot of different people in different ways, it’s healthy eating, but at the same time it’s filling. We’re both vegan so we enjoy that the menu is mostly vegan,” said Tramontano. “It’s also a fun place to work.”
Their most popular bowls are the Nutella bowl and the Pura Vida while most popular smoothies are the Aloha and the Kowabunga.
The Pura Vida is a sweet, açaí base topped off with granola, blueberry, strawberry and honey. Each flavor compliments one another well, tastes delicious, is healthy and it fills you up, yet makes you want to go back for more.
Photo by Grace Samuelson
Playa Bowls doesn’t just aim to have delicious healthy food and a welcoming atmosphere, they also want to supply the best customer service possible.
“We are kind of like tour guides or mini concierges here because we have this awesome location and we do get a lot of tourists,” said Beauvais.
Whether a customer needs to learn about anything on menu or wants to know the best place to get food in Mt. Pleasant, Beauvais and Tramontano are ready to help.
The store may be new to King Street, but it already has a presence in Charleston and Beauvais and Tramontano are going to make sure that presence only gets stronger.
With good food, good vibes, a friendly atmosphere and the motto “pineappleland” the store fits right at home in Charleston.