By Hannah Stryker

From New Jersey to Maryland, Playa Bowls has expanded its brand since becoming an establishment in 2014. Rob Giuliani and Abby Taylor founded Playa Bowls after tasting different versions of açai and pitaya bowls during summer vacations. The pair decided to bring the tropical explosions to life when they opened the original Playa Bowls in Belmar, New Jersey. The Jersey Shore, home to a multitude of beachside residents, made the perfect place for Giuliani and Taylor to set up shop. With only a blender, patio table, fridge, and freezer, the two had plenty of materials to get started. They began by explaining the many health benefits of açai to customers, which include how it is full of antioxidants and can improve cholesterol levels.

On Sunday, January 28, Playa Bowls officially opened in College Park, Maryland. Located at 7417 Baltimore Ave., it is the first Playa Bowls to open in Maryland. The menu includes a variety of base blends, such as açai, pitaya, coconut, and kale. Customers can choose different toppings to add to their bowls, such as granola, honey, nutella, and coconut flakes. Along with bowls, the franchise also carries smoothies, oatmeal, and juices packed with organic ingredients.

“I loved Playa Bowls for a few reasons,” University of Maryland freshman hearing and speech sciences major Emily Swecker said. “When I first visited Playa Bowls I immediately noticed the patient and helpful staff. The bowls were super delicious and perfectly sized as well.”

The new location acts as a great place for nearby college students to hang out, relax, or study. An expanding enterprise, with over 65 locations, Playa Bowls has established itself as a community-oriented space.

“Playa Bowls has been one of the most welcoming environments that I’ve ever worked in. UMD freshman journalism major Jesse Anderson said. “Even during some of the busiest points in the day, the team consistently comes together to make it work. I’ve learned the value of teamwork while working there, and I look forward to my shifts!”

Just up the street from Playa Bowls is Frutta Bowls and Vigilante Coffee. Both shops sell açai products and are located near The Varsity and The View apartment complexes. Route 1 has always housed a variety of restaurants, and continues to expand in variety to please local consumers.

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Playa Bowls’ Facebook page.

Hannah Stryker is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at

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