How Playa Bowls turned a blender and a dream into a growing fast-casual concept

Rob Giuliani and his partner, Abby Taylor, started with a stand on the Jersey shore selling smoothies and acai bowls and grew it into a 126-unit chain.

Rob Giuliani, along with his business partner and surfing buddy, Abby Taylor, started Playa Bowls as a smoothie stand at the Jersey shore. To operate the blender, they hooked up an extension cord to Giuliani’s apartment above a pizza place. The duo offered smoothies and acai bowls as a healthier alternative to the fried foods, hot dogs and ice cream available to beach goers. They gradually opened a brick-and-mortar location, broadened the menu and generated franchise interest.

Rob Giuliani

The beach vibe still drives the design and décor of each restaurant and Playa Bowls has now expanded into locations across the country, as well as nontraditional spots like health clubs and colleges. Listen as CEO and co-founder Giuliani shares the story of Playa Bowls’ growth from a cart on the side of the road to a 126-unit fast casual with over $65 million in revenue.

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