Playa Bowls Grand Opening Saturday, May 15 in Tarrytown
By Linda Viertel—
“Welcome to Pineapple Land” On Main Street, where customers can enjoy a dizzying variety of superfruit bowls and smoothies, perfect for a refreshing, healthy summery delight any time of the year. Tomorrow, on Saturday, May 15, starting at 11 a.m., the first 50 customers will receive a free bowl, and the next 50 will receive a free colorful Playa Bowl t-shirt with purchase.
Playa Bowls is New Jersey’s original acai shop now with more than 104 locations nationwide. Six different basic “bowls” are offered: acai, pitaya, green, coconut, banana and chia pudding, and each can be customized even after choosing among five or six choice offerings with each bowl. Acai is the small edible berry from South American palm trees, loaded with antioxidant content benefitting brain, heart and overall health. Pitaya, a dragon fruit from Nicaragua high in vitamin C, is a plus for your immune system and boosts iron levels. Each of these sweet tasting fruits are complemented by a plethora of wholesome toppings: honey, granola, pineapple, banana, cacao nibs, coconut, strawberries, blueberries, chia seeds, and the absolute favorite – Nutella. You get the idea; this is only a partial list of all the options available in creating your own Playa Bowl.
Owner Theresa Mulqueen is quick to acknowledge, “The number one seller kids like is the Nutella bowl with extra Nutella.” Special bowls include a “booster” that delivers plenty of power in each of its nine ingredients. And, for delicious fun, try the “Stupid Cupid,” a delightful mix of strawberries, white chocolate, coconut milk, cacao bibs, granola and more. Sweet and tasty.
Smoothies are made to order in 16 or 20 oz. cups: 11 different fresh and wholesome offerings. Fresh juices, both fruit and veggie, are also blended to order with seven choices available. Organic steel-cut oatmeal provides the basis for a healthy breakfast bowl, with five items ready to be customized to your liking.
Tarrytown is particularly fortunate to have franchise owners Theresa and Kevin Mulqueen opening their store just as Tarrytown’s Main Street is beginning to thrive once again. The Mulqueens, residents of Tappan, just across the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, always wanted to work together after retirement, though Kevin still drives a bus for handicapped, wheelchair-bound students. Theresa retired from teaching special education after 33 years, and both bring their love of students to their new venture. They have embraced not only being members of the Tarrytown community planning to be in the shop every day, but they are committed to giving young people jobs. Luckily Playa Bowls as a company is committed to giving an opportunity for students to work, and for many of the 15 teenagers employed by the Mulqueens, it’s their first job.
“I’m still a teacher,” said Theresa Mulqueen, “and love being around kids, giving them the opportunity to work and helping them fill out their first tax forms.” In the future, once the Mulqueens become acclimated, they hope to sponsor a sports team. For now, they are being welcomed into the community by residents and merchants alike, stopping in for grab and go items like granola bags, freshly made protein balls and, of course, their bowls, smoothies and juices.
Playa Bowls’ story started on the Jersey Shore, where avid surfers Abby Taylor and Robert Giuliani grew up and opened their first pop-up Playa Bowl stand on the sidewalk in front of the pizza shop they lived above. After chasing the waves surfing throughout South America, California and Hawaii and experiencing individual versions of acai or pitaya bowls, they returned home and created their own recipes. While spending time educating their customers on the health benefits of acai and experimenting with ingredients, word of their unique and delicious venture – and their passion for it – spread. Playa Bowls was born and with it a mission to deliver fresh and healthy food in recyclable containers, utilizing sustainable practices in a joyfully colorful space.
Playa Bowls maintains its own artist who paints each shop interior in bright colors, with palm trees, ocean waves, and – for Tarrytown – an anchor, with the ubiquitous surf boards on the ceilings. Theresa and Kevin Mulqueen, frequent visitors and now home-owners in Rincon, Puerto Rico, visited a playa bowl stand on the beach, then sought out a Playa Bowl near them in Englewood, New Jersey and began their journey to opening a franchise in Tarrytown.
Playa Bowls is a welcoming spot already on Tarrytown’s Main Street, thanks to the Mulqueens, who now don’t seem retired at all. They are committed to their new business, the kids who help them run it, and the community they have chosen to join. So, stop in tomorrow to celebrate their opening day, and after sampling a tasty Playa Bowl, you’ll want to return and expand your culinary horizons with more unique versions of Playa Bowls’ many health-packed offerings.
If You Go:
3 Main Street
Order Online: Door Dash, Grub Hub, Uber Eats
Follow on social media @playabowlstarrytown