By Janee Law
SoBol is the latest hot spot in Huntington for those seeking a healthy and refreshing bite while strolling through the village.
Sandra Recchione, owner of the Huntington location of the acai bowl franchise, enjoys bringing a positive element to the village.
“Everywhere you go, people are looking for gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and I can cater to that part of the community that wants to live a healthier life, that wants to live longer and not put all that processed stuff in their bodies every day,” Recchione, of Huntington, said.
Selling customized acai bowls, smoothies, coffee and more, Recchione opened the 860-square-foot space at 339 New York Ave. on Aug. 16. SoBol also sells Sail Away Coffee; and Laurel’s Butter, which can be bought by the jar or added on top of any acai bowl.
SoBol blends frozen acai berries, strawberries, bananas, and a splash of soy milk to make a thick fruit puree, which is then parfait between homemade granola. Each bowl is topped with blueberries, sliced banana, strawberries, coconut and honey. Customers can customize their order by adding other toppings, such as hemp seeds, pineapple, Nutella Chia seeds and more.
The overall SoBol franchise was co-founded by Jason Mazzarone and Jim Kalomiris in 2012; the first location opened in Sayville. After discovering the refreshing acai bowl during culinary school in San Diego, Mazzarone decided to team up with Kalomiris, a longtime friend with experience in the restaurant management, to bring the delicious and healthy acai to his hometown in Sayville.
Their creative assortment of homemade granola, acai pure and fresh fruit became all the rage to Long Islanders, and the business grew to other locations, including Patchogue, Rockville Centre, Long Beach, Syosset and now Huntington.
In addition, Recchione said, 28 SoBol locations will be opening along the East Coast by the end of the year, including in Westchester; Stamford, Connecticut; and Orlando.
Recchione said she came to learn of acai bowls through a friend, who suggested she visit the Sayville location. After a few visits, she said she got hooked.
“After that, I started researching different franchises in the California, Florida and New York. We decided that SoBol was the best one as far as flavor, business plan, product and service because they’re very family oriented and they support you 100 percent while you’re in the process of building your store.”
Now she’s hoping to grow the franchise further with plans to open two other Long Island locations.
What sets SoBol apart from other acai franchises are the ingredients, Recchione said.
“Mazzarone is the culinary guy so his flavor in the blend it’s not tart and it’s not sweet and it mixes well with all the fruits,” Recchione said. “Also, their homemade granola, which no one else has, has a secret ingredient that maintains its crunchy texture even when it gets wet.”
The homemade granola contains cashews and almonds — there’s also a nut-free granola available. With that, SoBol also offers vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free treats.
There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Huntington location next month, Recchione said.