When I was first introduced to the Austin Açaí Company, I was excited to try it out. Settled on their very own patch of turf in the heart of the UT food scene, the Austin Açaí Company is sure to please all college students. What I got from Austin Açaí was a beautifully made and completely organic smoothie bowl that actually filled me up way more than I expected it would. 

As I became a more regular customer (I wouldn't say I was actually a "regular," or else I might be broke), I discovered that the owners were actually students at UT, so I was interested in hearing how they got everything started while still juggling school.

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Sarah Teng

The Founders

Preston Brown (left) and Alex Yang (right) are both sophomores at the University of Texas, majoring in Economics. Although Austin Açaí Company's grand opening occurred during finals week of May 2016 (not recommended), the truck was extremely successful right off the bat.

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Sarah Teng

Now conveniently located right behind the University Co-op and in the heart of residential West Campus, Austin Açaí offers bowls and smoothies featuring all natural fruit, granola, nuts, and a variety of toppings, such as peanut butter, honey, Nutella, and coconut flakes. On top of being aesthetically appealing and extremely photogenic, açaí bowls are bursting with antioxidants, Vitamin C, and fiber to help keep you full. One item on their menu, the "Swole Bowl," has about 30 grams of protein from the açaí berries and various nuts to give you that extra boost you need.

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Sarah Teng

How It All Started

So, what's the secret? How did they muster up the guts to finally, as Nike would say it, "Just Do It?" When the two friends met at the beginning of their freshmen year, both aspiring entrepreneurs actually had the same New Year's Resolution: to start their own business. With the desire to bring healthy food to students in a convenient way, they decided to sell açaí bowls for their rising popularity and numerous health benefits. With the perfect açaí recipe established, Preston and Alex decided to pool their money and take the risk.

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Sarah Teng

Words of Wisdom

Despite all of the opposition from their parents and close family members to drop the business and focus on school, Preston and Alex were confident that this is what they wanted to do. Here's what they had to say about their blooming business.

Alex Yang: The hardest part about starting a business is actually just doing it. Don't be afraid to take the risk. Prove your own concepts and ideas before you spend money to develop the business. If you know that what you have is gonna be great, then that's something only you can know. The ones who don't understand it are the ones that won't take those risks like you. And that's another thing, don't take business advice from people who haven't run their own businesses before.

Preston Brown: I totally agree, and it's easier to do than most people think it is. You just have to get as many people involved or informed about it as you can. If your parents, friends, and family know about what you're doing, more opportunities will be presented to you. Money might be a big issue, but the more people know about it, the more they'll be able to help, fund, or mentor you throughout the entire process.

cream, milk, chocolate, sweet, yogurt, dairy product, coffee, ice, strawberry
Sarah Teng

When you first visit the Austin Açaí Company food truck, you'd never even guess it was run by such young entrepreneurs. The truck is very well-run and visually appealing amongst the other trucks in the Co-op food court. As for the future of the business, Alex and Preston are excited to see where the food truck will take them (pun intended), and you may even see locations popping up in other college campuses around the country. Until then, get yourself a bowl of blended berry goodness right here on UT's campus and let the healthy lifestyle commence. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, they're hiring!