SoBol açaí bowl chain eyes New Hyde Park shop

The Island Now
Diane Pietroforte of Floral Park presents her plan for a SoBol açaí bowl franchise in New Hyde Park on Tuesday. (Photo by Rebecca Melnitsky)

By Rebecca Melnitsky

An açaí bowl shop could be coming to New Hyde Park, pending approval from the village Board of Trustees.

Açaí bowls are a Brazilian dish made of the frozen and mashed açaí fruit, as well as granola, peanut butter, strawberries, blueberries, bananas and more.

The proposed store is a franchise of SoBol, a Long Island-based açaí bowl chain with locations in Sayville, Patchogue, Syosset, Rockville Centre, Long Beach, Wantagh, Massapequa and Huntington. It would sell smoothies and coffee in addition to açaí bowls.

Franchise owner Diane Pietroforte of Floral Park presented her case for a special use permit to open the establishment at 1219 Jericho Turnpike at Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

“It would be a nice place for people to come,” Pietroforte said. “It’s a franchise so I have to stick with a certain sort of interior vibe; however, I’m really looking to make it feel welcoming and warm.”

She added that açaí bowls are most popular with teenagers, who like to post photos of their snacks on social media.

The proposed store would be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. SoBol will have about 20 employees, with four on each shift: two workers, Pietroforte and another person to make blends for the bowls.

Pietroforte said she hoped to hire students, including people aged 16 to 18 alongside adults as managers.

“The kids come and go, they go to college,” she said. “This is what I understand from the other stores. They’re high school kids.”

SoBol would receive deliveries of strawberries about every other day, with peanut butter coming once a month.

Mayor Lawrence Montreuil asked about traffic to the store. Pietroforte said stores typically sell 200 to 250 bowls a day, with an increase in the summer.

SoBol would use New Hyde Park’s village sanitation services.

“I don’t really have any waste foodwise other than banana peels,” Pietroforte said. “Anything that’s not used fresh is frozen because we make smoothies. I really have no waste as far as food. It’s really the cups.”

New Hyde Park trustees voted to forward the application to the Nassau County Planning Commission, which will determine if the county has any concerns. The Planning Commission should answer in a few weeks.

If the commission decides that SoBol is only under village jurisdiction, then the village Board of Trustees will vote on the special use permit. If the commission rejects the application, the board can override the denial with a supermajority vote.

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