Business

A love for smoothie bowls is a catalyst to new opportunities for business.

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It’s exactly how it was for members of the Tompkins family. Kaye Tompkins, her daughters Maggie and Katie and her parents Kirby as well as Kathy Harrell fell in love with fruit smoothies and acai bowls and soon found themselves traveling from their home near Bessemer as well as Hoover in Hoover to City Bowls located in Vestavia Hills up to three times per week.

Then, Kaye and her husband, Brad, decided to create the company’s own City Bowls franchise in Stadium Trace Village in Hoover in the summer of 2006.

However, when the Tompkins were planning to change and broaden their menu, such as offering beverages made from smoothies, City Bowls wouldn’t allow the idea, Brad said. The couple decided to break from City Bowls and, in October, began a new business, FAB Fruit, in the same place at Stadium Trace Village.

The concept is similar; however, the menu is distinct, Kaye said. The Tompkins hired an executive chef to assist the development of their menu, she explained.

For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, bowls begin with a base made of pitaya, acai, or spinach. Layers of Granola follow this and then various kinds of fruit and toppings ranging from honey to peanut butter and cacao nibs, cinnamon sugar coconut flakes, and Chia seeds.

Many people assume that it’s a dessert or food item. However, it’s far more than it appears, Kaye said. Due to everything contained in the bowl, many people use the bowls for an easy meal, she added. Some customers even add protein powder added to the mix.

“It’s a great complement to a workout,” Kaye added.

Maggie Tompkins prepares a Purple Power Bowl at Fab Fruit.

She explained that bowls that are served with spinach aren’t able to feel the spinach. The majority of the bowls are sweet, but individual bowls are savory in flavor. According to her, it’s also a nutritious alternative that doesn’t taste like a healthier option.

Their most loved bowl can be described as their Purple Power, which has the base of acai vanilla protein, vanilla butter strawberries, bananas, almond milk, and toppings like strawberries, blackberry Nutella, peanut butter, and Granola.

The most well-known smoothie is “Bad Habits,” which contains strawberry, pineapple banana, the white grapes juice.

While the menu outlines the ingredients of each smoothie or bowl, individuals can personalize their order or create their recipe by making it from scratch.

The Tompkins decided to introduce smoothie drinks on the menu since customers were constantly asking for them.

Brad, a former builder who manages an automated factory business in Birmingham, is mainly in charge of the larger-picture decisions. Kaye, who has experience in TV advertising sales and English instruction, works the day-to-day management as a restaurant manager.

Their 18-year-old daughter Maggie is an assistant manager and manages the schedule of employees. Additionally, their fifteen-year-old daughter Katie has been a substitute employee, helping out when needed. In addition to the family members, the family has 15 employees.

The daughters attend homeschool, which means that, if they need to, they can be employed at times when pupils of their age attend school. The restaurant’s hours are 10:30 a.m. until 7 p.m., seven days a week during winter. They might alter the hours in the summer months, Maggie stated.

Maggie is making her way to college, which means she’ll soon not be around for as long, “but I’ll be back to eat,” she told us.

The Tompkins were aware that they would like to do business to be located in Hoover since a lot of their lives revolves in Hoover the city, they explained. They considered a variety of places and loved Stadium Trace Village because they expect lots of traffic in the future due to the planned entertainment district along with the hotel that is designed. All the new houses are being constructed along Stadium Trace Parkway.

Kaye said that the Tompkins family members have experience in restaurants; however, they have faith in their menu choices and are always looking for a new adventure.

The business has been great except rainy and frigid days added. There are a lot of returning customers and are enjoying being able to meet new people, She said.

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