Being a Maryland native, I live about three hours from the closest beach. Which also means I live three hours from The Fractured Prune, Kohrs Frozen Custard, Grottos Pizza and Playa Bowls. Luckily, Playa Bowls decided my college town would be the perfect place to open their next location.

Katie Coulson

The History of Açaí 

The açaí fruit is a small, round, blackish-purple drupe, and is similar to the size of a grape. 

berry, blueberry, sweet, bilberry, blackberry, pasture
Jocelyn Hsu

Açaí has been around for thousands of years, but wasn't introduced to the western world until the 1990s. The açaí palm trees grow in South American climates, which are wet with swampy conditions. 

The berry helps reduce bad cholesterol in our blood while also increasing good cholesterol. The fruit is filled with antioxidants, which can help protect the body from harmful bacteria and ward off upper respiratory tract infections. The native South Americans even used the berry to treat constipation, diarrhea and nausea. 

The Açaí Bowl 

What was originally an ailment for sickness, turned into an artsy and photogenic meal for any occasion. The açaí bowl consists of the açaí berry, grinned up into an almost smoothie texture. The berry is then combined with water or milk. Next, you can add a plethora of toppings, such as, granola, honey, peanut butter, coconut shavings, chia seeds and almonds, along with various types of fruit. The options are endless with mango, banana, pineapple and blueberries. To top it all off, you can add a Nutella or peanut butter drizzle to make your bowl even sweeter. 

Katie Coulson

Playa Bowls History 

Playa Bowls opened its first store in 2014, located in Belmar, New Jersey. The founders, Rob Giuliani and Abby Taylor, both grew up on the Jersey Shore and they love to travel to places like Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and California, where they can surf. The two enjoyed eating açaí bowls after a day of surfing because "they didn't make you feel weighed down". They wanted to bring these fruit bowls closer to home, and opened the first Playa Bowls on the boardwalk with a pop-up stand and two blenders. 

The Delaware Welcome 

Playa Bowls is currently the largest retailer of açaí in the world, which is why the University of Delaware had to have one. When Playa Bowls announced that they were opening one on campus, the post generated over 1 million views and 500 comments. They opened their doors on Main Street on February 3rd and have been a hit ever since. 

Katie Coulson

Newark, Delaware may be almost two hours from the closest beach, but adding this Belmar favorite will make it feel a bit closer.