The Original Banzai Bowls
There’s an old saying, “do what you love and you never work a day in your life.” For some those words are never more than a dream, a wish, or a fleeting thought. For a fortunate few, that old saying is a mantra. With hard work and dedication a person can turn their dream into their career, but often the biggest hurdle is trusting the process. As we’ve said before, Produce Services of Los Angeles is always rooting for the person that creates their own reality, and Joe and Tiana Bard are a stellar example.
The Location that started it all (Costa Mesa)
We’re pretty sure if we’d asked Joe 20 years ago, after his first taste of acai, if he’d become the leading name in acai with Banzai Bowls, he’d have said we were crazy. Of course that’s exactly what happened. As the story goes, he was introduced to the Brazilian fruit by a neighbor, and became mildly obsessed. He loved the anti-oxidant properties and the rush of energy it gave him-perfect for the surfing lifestyle. He began creating different concoctions, adding spinach, nuts, bananas, and honey for more taste, texture, and nutritional value. This may have been the moment the Banzai Bowls was born, but Joe still had more surfing to do.
By 2008, he was feeding everyone he knew these bowls and they were eating them up-figuratively and literally. At this point inspiration hit. Maybe everyone would love to eat them. He brought the idea to his wife Tiana and she whole-heartedly agreed.
In fact, we have her creative spark to thank for the name Banzai Bowls. So they set out on their adventure. With little more than hope and a prayer they opened their first location in Costa Mesa, Ca. Strictly by word of mouth, their business grew. Next thing they knew it was standing room only and time to open another store. Today they have locations as far south as San Clemente, Ca., and as far west as the Hawaiian Islands.
What exactly is a Banzai Bowl? We could say it’s a delicate frozen taste of a tropical wonderland, but there is a little more to it than that. It begins as a frozen puree of the acai berry, no ice added, and then it becomes whatever its eater has in mind. A wide array of fresh fruits, granola, and nut milks can begin the extravaganza, but they aren’t to be out done by the nutrient-rich superfoods like goji berries, bee pollen, and chia; all artfully arranged into one magical delight-with a dollop of peanut or almond butter if one is so inclined. All whole foods, all pure ingredients- just the good stuff.
Joe and Tiana founded Banzai Bowls on the principal that they would never settle, cut corners, or sell out. They insist on the absolute highest quality ingredients and don’t believe freshness is a relative term. Produce Services of Los Angeles considers it a privilege to be a partner with Banzai Bowls. We share the same sentiment and ideals- their vision is not lost on us.
Looking beyond the day to day to see a bigger purpose is the difference between running a business and pursuing a passion. Banzai Bowls strives to bring the best to their customers and that enthusiasm keeps people wanting more, just like Joe and Tiana’s friends and family over a decade ago. These two set their sights on their dream and haven’t worked a day since.
So the next time you are enjoying a Banzai Bowl, consider how much blood sweat and tears has gone into creating the amzing bowl you are enjoying… And as always #livelifeinthebowl.
Produce Services of Los Angeles is a proud partner and produce supplier to over 400 restaurants throughout Southern California! We carry a full line of fresh and frozen fruits and vegtables along with dairy and dry goods!