Sambazon Opens Acai Cafe in Cardiff

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In 1999, Sambazon founders Ryan and Jeremy Black were on a surf trip in Brazil. It was there that the brothers took note of a popular, purple berry the locals were consuming.  The popular fruit, açaí (ah-sigh-ee), was harvested from palm trees native to Central and South America and being requested by the bucket-full.  A year later, the two decided to introduce açaí to the United States.

Their company, Sambazon, began selling açaí juices and worked to educate the public about the benefits of the berry. Labeled a “super-food,” açaí is rich in antioxidants, particularly vitamin C, and healthy omega fats like those found in fish and olive oil.

With their açaí juices appearing in more and more stores, including national chains like Costco, the team decided that America was ready to experience açaí in a new way: as a food. Serving up traditional Brazilian açaí bowls and fresh smoothies, Açaí Cafe was opened two weeks ago in Cardiff with the grand opening set for April 9, 2011.

How did they choose Cardiff for their first cafe?

“Rob Machado, one of Sambazon’s ambassadors, actually called us up and told us that he knew of the perfect location for a cafe,” says Black.  Located in the heart of Cardiff-by-the-sea, it is not only across the street from Turtles and Tippers surf spots, but it is next to Seaside Market, one of the original stores to adopt Sambazon’s products. Black says with a laugh, “we couldn’t have dreamed of a more perfect location for our first store. But, we think the real reason Rob picked this spot is so he can walk-over and have a bowl everyday.”

Açaí cafe’s offerings impressive as well. The açaí bowls can be loaded with extras like granola, organic fruits, nuts, and even Rob’s favorite: peanut butter!  All of this made for a delicious, healthy, and filling meal.

The cafe itself is a model of what the green movement is all about. Though it costed Sambazon more to completely outfit the restaurant with salvaged, reused, and recycled materials, Ryan Black said, “this was in line with our company’s philosophy of a triple bottom line: making sure that our success is judged not only economically, but also socially and environmentally.” Sambazon has also worked to create a sustainable economy in Brazil around the growing, harvesting, and processing of açaí. Sambazon’s business now provides thousands of Brazilians with jobs.

Visit the Black’s Açaí Cafe in Cardiff  for their grand opening on April 9, 2011 and enjoy a açaí bowl created just for you.


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