Bowl of Heaven sells healthy servings of food—and profits—one bowl at a time.
During a visit to Hawaii to see his daughter in college, Dan McCormick reluctantly tried a local favorite, an açaí bowl, and was hooked right away. So much so that almost immediately he and his family sketched out a business plan to bring the food concept to the mainland.
An açaí bowl is simply a thicker version of your favorite smoothie, served in a bowl, eaten with a spoon. The mixture is packed with super fruits like açaí, maqui berry and gac, with toppings like granola, sliced strawberries, honey, and dark chocolate.
Each bowl is packed with specially chosen super-fruits that taste great, look appetizing, are low-calorie, and is a dairy-free, soy-free treat, free of refined sugars. The açaí bowls are served with a spoon; however, each store also offers comparable smoothies for patrons on the go. Customers enjoy the bowls at all times of the day including after an early-morning workout or as an afterschool snack. Added protein is available upon request and many customers make the bowl a full meal.
McCormick’s entrepreneurial spirit and background as a nutrition expert kicked into high gear as he worked out plans for implementing the concept. He initially wanted to sell the açaí bowls out of a food truck around southern California, where he’s based. Unfortunately, the associated regulations were too much for the young business to handle at first.
A store model was easier. Bowl of Heaven was born in 2010 when McCormick and his son-in-law and business partner Brandon Beazer, opened their first store in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. Bowl of Heaven subsequently was able to operate a food truck for farmer’s markets and other events. The business now operates two corporate stores and has one franchise location; dozens more are in various stages of development.
When the family hatched the idea for Bowl of Heaven they never imagined franchising the concept. However, with the success of their first store, they considered different models for expansion and realized that franchising would be the way to go. Since launching franchise operations, Bowl of Heaven has had a great deal of interest. So much so that following a listing of their business in Entrepreneur’s list of promising new franchises they received over 60
McCormick says Bowl of Heaven’s mission is to “become the world leader in the superfood experience with mouthwatering, delicious offerings.” He says he’s found success by connecting with the local community and providing a positive, healthy experience for customers. McCormick sees a limitless opportunity for healthy products everywhere and believes his business has a bright future. To build on his vision, he’s constantly searching the world for new and exciting superfood ingredients to add to Bowl of Heaven’s offerings. Currently he’s working on including yacón, a Peruvian sweet potato-like vegetable, as a sweetener. The yacón also has some important superfood qualities that McCormick would like to add to his products.
The average cost for a franchisee to get going and build out a store is about $200,000. The company has a team of what McCormick says are the very best people to help franchisees succeed. The initial franchise fee is $30,000 with an annual royalty of 6 percent of gross revenues. Also, to support marketing efforts, each franchisee chips in 3 percent of gross sales for marketing, of which 1 percent goes to local marketing, 1 percent to national marketing, and 1 percent is the franchisee’s choice. The company provides a great deal of training, with each franchisee receiving 24 hours of in-class and 40 hours of on-the-job training. As for marketing, the company provides social media support, a website, signage, flyers, and many training and marketing ideas. Bowl of Heaven locations work best in shopping centers, in high-rent, mixed-use areas that include schools, residential communities and businesses nearby. McCormick says the company provides real-estate assessments to franchisees to help them choose an optimal location.
McCormick and his team see the opportunities as limitless to serve communities around the globe with healthy, delicious superfoods. With all the success the company has experienced so far, he’s excited to see what comes next.