YARDLEY BOROUGH >> The cool, refreshing taste of acai bowls and fruit smoothies has arrived in downtown Yardley just in time for Harvest Day.
On August 31, SoBol opened its doors next to Vince’s Pizza and Restaurant in the Yardley Town Center with deliciously fresh acai bowls, green bowls, fruit smoothies and beyond.
It’s the first SoBol to open in Bucks County and the fourth to open in Pennsylvania with other locations in Lancaster and Rittenhouse Square and University City in Philadelphia.
The store is owned by Todd Stecker of Lower Makefield. "I wanted to do something that brought me happiness, that I felt I had ownership in,” he said.
Stecker said he found that happiness with SoBol, a brand he patronized while living in Long Island. “I honestly love them. And I just feel like it’s a lasting trend that’s going to be here to stay.
“And for me, I just felt it was something Yardley could use - something fresh, something young, something that transports people to a different place,” said Stecker.
That different place is the beach.
The interior of the store has an Old School beach vibe, decorated with unstained wood to give it that Boardwalk feel. The “So” in its name also stands for Southern California, which is where the açaí concept began.
An acai bowl is best described as an oversized smoothie that you eat with a spoon rather than a straw. It’s garnished with granola, honey, fruit, peanut butter, etc. depending on your order. It’s delicious, it’s trendy and it’s popular on Instagram with its colorful ingredients.
The SoBol menu features a selection of smoothies made with a mix of fresh fruit, frozen fruit and either coconut milk, almond milk, apple or açaí juice.
But it’s most popular items are its bowls, with your choice of either the açaí (blended açaí, strawberry and banana), sunshine (blended pineapple, mango and banana) pitaya (blended pitaya, strawberry and banana) or green (blended spinach, mango, banana and cale) bowl. Each contains a base made up of açaí, strawberry and banana, layers of granola and its signature fruit.
Customers then can top off their bowls with extras, including peanut butter and chocolate chips, chia seeds, gogi berries, Nutella, kiwi and more.
“A lot of people come in the morning and have it for breakfast,” said Stecker. “Most people come in at lunch and turn it into a meal replacement. And some people come in at night and get one for dessert or a snack.
“Everything is natural, but like anything else you can make it unhealthy with the extras that you choose,” said Stecker. “But it’s way healthier than three scoops of ice cream.”
Since the opening, the reception has been phenomenal, said Stecker. “It was above and beyond what I was expecting.”
In fact, representatives from the franchise who were in attendance said it was one of the top three attended openings across the chain, he said.
The arrival of SoBol adds to an already youthful vibe in downtown Yardley created by businesses like the Vault, Pretty Bird, La La Lobster and Kawaii Tori Sushi, which will soon be moving to the former State Store building at the Yardley Town Center.
“These are all designed to provide experiences for the customer. The Vault is a great experience. La La Lobster is that New England flavor - like you’re all the way up in Maine eating lobster,” said Stecker. “Here, it’s the beach vibe. We all add a little something different. It’s new. It’s fresh. It’s young. All ages love it.”
Stecker, a native of Long Island, recently moved to Lower Makefield from Princeton with his family attracted by the housing prices, good schools and community.
“We love it here,” said Stecker. “We love the community. We love the school system. And I like the fact that we’re not that far from New York.”