Bango Bowls had a very busy 2017.
The company, which focuses on açaí bowls, opened three locations this past year — one in Massapequa in January, another in Huntington Station in August, and a third in East Setauket in December.
There’s also a fourth location opening soon in Bay Shore.
That third location at 199 Main Street in East Setauket opened just a few weeks ago, and Bango Bowls has been spinning its take on açaí bowls to the Greater Port Jeff area steadily ever since.
“We thought it would be a good opportunity to connect Port Jeff residents, as well as dip into Stony Brook Hospital and Stony Brook University folks,” said Bango Bowls co-owner Ryan Thorman.
Bango Bowls is continuing its expansion in what’s rapidly becoming a competitive market for the frozen berry bowls with faith in the customizability they offer, explained Thorman.
“We offer a Chiptole-like style open line,” he explained. “Other places do not do that.”
During the ordering process, customers have the choice of either açaí or pitaya (cactus fruit), while selecting from four different granolas, as well as various toppings.
For the less creative, there are açaí and pitaya bowls already designed, as well as smoothies and oatmeal bowls.
And there is no extra charge for substituting toppings.
“We allow you to substitute because we want to give the control to the customer,” said Thorman.
What’s an açaí bowl?
Açaí (pronounced ah sigh EEE) is a purple berry that grows on palm trees in Central and South America. Because it is not a fruit native to the U.S., it is commonly sold in frozen, freeze-dried or powder form.
An açaí “bowl” begins as smoothie blended to the thickness of a sherbet. The frozen açaí berry is the key ingredient; it’s typically pureed with almond milk or coconut milk.
The true allure of the açaí bowl, however, is the toppings, which typically include a variety of fresh sliced fruit, shaved coconut, nut butter and granola.
While açaí bowls have been around for a few years now, they’re more popular this year than ever. This could be due to some media buzz heralding the açaí berry as a “superfood” with numerous health benefits.
Top: A Build-Your-Own açaí bowl from the East Setauket location. (Credit: Nicholas Esposito)