Last year on Black Friday, Emma Reinbold noticed that it wasn’t just Best Buy that had a mile-long line.
“I remember seeing this line at Dragon Fire Pizza and thinking, THIS is pure genius.” As a foodie and lifelong baker, she had toyed with the idea of making food for a living, and after noticing the demand for on-the-go food trucks in the greater Champaign County area hadn’t slowed over the past few years, she knew it was time. “My overwhelmingly supportive parents pushed me to chase this dream. That, and my deep, forever-growing desire to positively influence those around me through encouragement.”
Emma is now hoping to launch her own mobile food outfit using a 1963 Shasta Camper she calls Miss Linda. The business is called Bee Bowl’d, which holds a few points of significance. First and foremost, the name calls to what it is she’ll be serving: acai bowls with plentiful toppings. If you haven’t encountered acai before, it’s a berry exclusive to the Amazon rainforest. “Loaded with antioxidants, proven to protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer, and containing the ability to increase overall energy levels, these little powerhouses truly do the body good from the inside out,” Emma says. They’re tasty on their own, but Emma has toppings in mind that are largely considered superfoods. “Fresh fruits, granola, nut butters, coconut flakes, cacao nibs, goji berries, chia seeds, hemp hearts, flaxseed, bee pollen, and honey” will all be options at Bee Bowl’d.
The name also holds significance because Emma is hoping her Bee Bowl’d treats will help people to be bold. “Amidst all of life's chaos anymore, it's just too easy to get stuck in a rut and not make time for solely being present in the moment and enjoying life, so it is my goal to use Bee Bowl'd as that ray of light for people to turn to whenever they need.” Mindfulness is key to Emma’s plan, and part of that mindfulness is being aware of the local ingredients that can be utilized. “We are already partnered with Central Illinois Produce and Bakehouse, , and Sasse's Apiary to name a few! I love supporting local whenever and wherever I can; it helps keep dollars within the community.”
Over the next six months, Emma and her dad are going to be giving Miss Linda a facelift. She encourages everyone else to follow along with the transformation on social media, which she also hopes can be a place that people can not only get info about Bee Bowl’d, but also share comments and replies of positivity for anyone who may need it. For now, she feels optimistic about Bee Bowl’d reception upon the full launch in Spring 2019. The debut of her acai treats will be this weekend at the Prairie Sky Music Festival, where you can test the menu and find your perfect combo of berry goodness. Two things are certain: the treats at Bee Bowl’d offer something for everyone, and Emma is confident about where she’s heading.
“I do have this slight feeling in my gut that everyone will be thanking us for introducing them to açaí after their first bite, so you as oh-so-very welcome in advance!”