There are a variety of healthy options out there, but one of the newer concepts in the Phoenix metropolitan area are the acai bowls.

Opening an arepas business wasn’t an option for a Venezuelan woman who said she wanted to sell something healthier, like acai bowls.

“I always believe in acai. I used to live in L.A., and I used to promote acai, probably 10 years ago and since then, I wanted to have my own shop with acai bowls," she said.

Maybe Alfonzo is a journalist who worked at a local Spanish radio station. She decided to quit her job and open her own business (Love Acai Bowls), but it wasn’t as easy as she thought.

“When I quit the job, I thought the next day I was going to be able to get into a store. I was like, ‘Oh yeah, yeah, in six months I’ll have my store.’ Actually, it takes longer to find a place, to get trust from a realtor, to get the money that you actually need for a store, it’s never enough. I wanted to do it so much that I came to terms with my reality and I was like, ‘I guess I have to do a food truck’.”

Alfonzo said that as soon as she decided to go with the food truck, everything else started falling into place for her, taking her to her next adventure.

“A year later we opened the store. This time it wasn’t about money, it was about being ready for the opportunity. This place was available probably for like a month or two months before I jumped in. Of course, you're always scared. I’m also 36 weeks pregnant. I was like, ‘If I don’t do it right now, when am I going to do it?’”

And she did it, she’s running a food truck and a shop, and she’ll have her baby any time now. So, she tells anyone thinking to start a business to just go for it.

“Empower and encourage your differences. People are afraid to be different, they’re afraid to -- don’t be followers. Don't be followers, be you!”

What’s acai?

Let’s start by how to say it: “assai." It’s a fruit originally from the Amazons, from northern Brazil, to be exact. It looks like a blueberry, but purple. 

Alfonzo says “your teeth are going to get purple” if you eat the purest acai you can ever taste. Acai has to be mixed with other fruits, usually berries, because it is sour.

“It has a lot of benefits. It’s been proven scientifically. I’ve seen the acai benefits. It has a lot of fiber, so if you have any stomach issues, you’ll see the change in your body. Is full of antioxidants, full of omegas," she said.

She pointed out that there’s a difference between an acai bowl and an acai smoothie. The bowl should be thick.