Sweetberry Acai Bowls Founder Desi Saran talks about the growing popularity of the health food industry and how he starte...
‘Healthy’ fast food just doesn’t cut it
There has been a rapid explosion of “healthy food” concepts and food innovations such as “vegan meat.” Americans are more health-conscious and are exploring healthier options and plant-based diets. Fast Food chains have taken notice and are now offering more "healthy options." As processed foods are marketed as “organic,” or “vegan,” and marked up at higher prices, it makes you wonder what you are actually eating. Consumers also want the ability to customize their food according to their preferences and diets giving them a better experience.
Superfood made with good vibes
Sweetberry is a healthy fast-casual concept that specializes in Acai Bowls, Poke Bowls, Smoothies, Wraps, Salads, Vegan Ice Cream & Good Vibes. Sweetberry was founded in 2017 with the vision of bringing fresh, healthy food and good vibes to local communities. Our mission is to inspire people to be more mindful of what they eat every day. Our products are made from premium fresh ingredients made to order and handcrafted in front of the customer. We are also leveraging our reach to build a platform for educating customers about health and wellness.
Diverse & custom product mix
What started off as just an Acai Bowl & Smoothie restaurant transitioned into a full healthy fast-casual concept. As customers requested more options, we added salads, wraps, vegan ice cream, and Poke Bowls to our product offerings. In 2017, Forbes ranked acai as the 5 most popular food trend. The demand for Poke has been continually increasing across our customer base as we continue to educate people about these new products. Acai Bowls, Salads, Vegan Ice Cream & Poke Bowls can be customized as customers choose their bases and toppings. A majority of sales are "build your own bowl" where customers select their ingredients, similar to Chipotle. We are not just a food and restaurant brand, but also a platform to deliver our "made with good vibes" mantra.
19 restaurants in 2 years
With the support of our friends, family, customers, & the local communities, Sweetberry has quickly built a national brand with 19 units across 6 states in just 2 years. By the end of 2019, we plan to have 20 locations opened across 7 states. We’ve received over 1,500 franchise inquiries across the US. We’ve projected that 2019 will bring in $4M+ of revenue, almost double that of 2018 across 13 Corporate Stores. As of Oct 30, 2019 systemwide sales (corporate + franchise sales) are approximately $4.7M and we are projecting $5.5M+ by end of 2019.
What our customers are saying
We have built a strong following across our customer base which heavily consists of millenials and we engage with our communities actively via social media. Our customers love taking pictures of themselves in our restaurants with our products and posting them on social media. We take our online reviews very seriously as we use feedback from customers to continually improve. Our customers love that we offer quick customer support through phone, live chat, text messaging, social media, and email as our business is fully omnichannel. We hold ourselves accountable to our brand standards and making sure the customer is always happy.
Building a national franchise
Out of our portfolio of 19 restaurants, 13 are owned by Corporate and 6 are franchise units. We have 1 more franchise unit scheduled for opening November 2019 in PA. In addition to revenue from our Corporate Stores, we also generate revenue from our franchise stores. The franchise fee is $35K for a territory, along with a $122k - $290k investment. Franchisees pay a 6% royalty on gross sales back to the Corporate Company. The business plan moving forward is to continue expanding nationally along the East Coast via franchise units. To date, we have received over 1500 franchise inquiries and we are awarding franchise territories to only the most qualified franchisees that believe in our mission.
Healthy fast casual: $66 billion dollar industry
Fast-Casual: a cross between fast food and casual sit-down restaurant dining has grown to become a multi-billion dollar market over the past few years. QSR Magazine reports it is the "fastest-growing foodservice segment worldwide" and is expected to top $66B by 2020 according to research firm Technavio. Millennials are drawn to concepts that are quick, inexpensive, and healthy. The rise of the acai bowl & poke bowl categories combined with rapid growth in the healthy fast-casual industry creates an extraordinary opportunity for an emerging concept like Sweetberry.
Making fast-casual healthy, local, fresh and made to order
The landscape of healthy fast-casual is growing rapidly, creating niche categories that are still in the beginning stages. With the rise of "Acai Bowl" and "Poke Bowl" concepts, we decided to make those products a part of our offering, coupled with time tested staples such as smoothies, wraps, and salads. We will continue to offer new and innovative food in the future, and we understand that certain products may "trend." Because our product mix is so diverse, we do not fall into a specific category and we brand ourselves as a full "healthy fast-casual" restaurant.
A global franchise chain
Sweetberry Bowls is looking for $1M for an equity transaction to continue growth. The capital will be used to recruit top talent and key hires, fund existing corporate build-outs and outstanding payables, and fuel franchise growth and development. Sweetberry expansion calls for national expansion via franchise sales. Our goal is to also expand internationally in the future as we have already received inquiries from Canada and the Middle East. With 19 stores already open in 2 years, we believe that Sweetberry can be a global chain with hundreds of units in the future.
$1,045,000 raised to date
Sweetberry Bowls has raised over $1,045,000 to date from investors.
Founder & CEO
Seasoned restaurateur, visionary, and world traveler. Desi is Rutgers Alumni and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt with a passion for building companies and spreading health and wellness. He created Sweetberry as a platform to deliver the "give good vibes" mantra across the world.