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By Elena Kadvany

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About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

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Acai bowls, headed to downtown Palo Alto

Uploaded: Jul 25, 2014
A 23-year-old Menlo Park native is teaming up with a college friend to bring acai bowls, smoothies, house-made nut milks and all-around health food to downtown Palo Alto.

Sarah Lipps, who graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School in 2009, and Bridget Corson, who's originally from Minnesota, met while at Pepperdine University in Malibu.

"Every Sunday of every weekend my freshman year of college, I drove over an hour to get acai bowls," Lipps said. "And then I moved back home after college and I was like, 'Man, where I can I get a great acai bowl?' And I couldn't find one very close to here." (For those who aren't familiar, acai bowls are made from a berry that comes from palm trees native to Central and South America, touted for its "superfood" benefits. It's typically frozen and blended, then topped with add-ins like fruit or nuts.)

The two business-and-health-food minded college graduates got talking, managed to snag an empty space at 530 Emerson St. and with the backing of Lipps' father, got started. (She said that her father has "always encouraged entrepreneurship in the family, and agreed to back ideas that we are passionate about with a well-researched business plan." He also helped Lipps' brother start a brewery in Portland.)

The downtown shop, dubbed Bare Bowls, is all about transparency, Lipps said.

"We're just really focused on pure ingredients and people knowing what they're getting," she said. "It's just a handcrafted bowl all together."

This means no fruit juice, sorbet or even sweetened acai. The bowls will be made from frozen, pure acai and can be topped with things like fresh fruit, granola, honey, peanut butter, almond butter (which they plan to make themselves), chia seed, cacao, matcha powder and other "real food ingredients." There will be seven bowls on the menu, Lipps said.


Above, a few Bare Bowls acai bowls. Courtesy Bare Bowls.

The duo will also make their own nut milks, which can go in bowls or coffee. They hope to serve caffeine from Santa Cruz-based Verve Coffee Roasters.

There will also be an "oatmeal of the day" and overnight oats; smoothies, health shots (like wheatgrass, ginger, turmeric) and other grab-and-go local products.

All menu items will range from $8 to $12. They're aiming to be open this fall; stay tuned for more details.

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by David, a resident of University South,
on Jul 25, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Congrats Sarah and team on this opening, very exciting!!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Margo, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jul 25, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Yayyy, I've had these in Santa Barbara and am always craving acai bowl. I CANNOT wait till they open in downtown Palo Alto, I will be there AMAP.

How do I become best friends with Sarah?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by patricia w, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jul 27, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Sarah, Knowing your quest for perfection, combined with your aesthetic sensibilities (I've known you a long time), I am sure that Bowls will entice everybody in town; we locals love delicious food beautifully presented. I'm on my way to the Emerson store the moment you open the doors.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Connie, a resident of Midtown,
on Jul 28, 2014 at 10:43 am

BLESS YOU SARAH AND BRIDGET for bringing wonderful acai bowls to Palo Alto! Can't wait until you guys open! :)



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