A California-based health food restaurant chain has already made its way to Jacksonville, but the company said it’s looking to expand in the this area over the next year.

Vitality Bowls Vice President of Operations Uriah Blum told the Business Journal Monday that the Jacksonville Beach lifestyle has been great for business. The local store is at 1516 3rd St. North.

“Jacksonville is a growing city, and the sales research team shows that business has done exceptionally well,” Blum said. “There’s definitely kind of the right type of energy (at the beach location).”

The restaurant, which features menu items like açaí bowls, salads, soups and fresh juices, opened about 10 years ago and has about 74 franchises across the country. There are expansion plans for 2022, including Jacksonville.

Blum said capital investment is usually around $350,000, and franchisees don’t need a lot of experience.

“You don’t need to have cooking (experience) with ovens and trained chefs, which makes it appealing to potential franchisees,” he said. “Although it’ll certainly help.”

As far as hiring goes, Blum said he hopes the labor shortage isn’t the new normal and that wages and prices have stayed competitive across locations.

“We have an attractive brand, and we want (our candidates) to that align with our philosophy,” he said. “They’re passionate about healthy food, and they want to come and work for a company.”

He said Vitality Bowls has been getting creative with offering hiring bonuses, incentives and growth opportunities that help employees feel valued in the workplace.


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