BEginnings: I Spy Acai!: Beriwell
Check out East Coast’s latest health food addition— acai soft serve bar, Beriwell
WORDS, ILLUSTRATIONS & PHOTOGRAPHS ESTELLE QUECK
Acai, (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is an Amazonian berry packed with antioxidants. Often served as an acai smoothie bowl, it has been all the rage in the past year. Each bowl, filled generously with a mauve base of icy acai, is often topped with sliced strawberries, bananas and desiccated coconut flakes, with almond butter piped atop intricately.
Here at Beriwell, the team serves acai in the form of frozen loopy swirls. Gasp in childlike wonder as the cranking of the lever releases luscious slow circles of acai soft serve. Acai and ice cream? Wow!
“We wanted to create something you could have for breakfast, lunch or dinner,” explained Anand, Beriwell’s founder. “It is not quite an acai bowl, yet it offers the same experience.”
Imagine creamy, tangy berry goodness sans the dairy, gluten and guilt. “There is a habit people have—putting unhealthy foods into their bodies,” Anand told CATCH. “My partner, Dash and I wanted to make a change. We had the idea that something as indulgent as a dessert could also be healthy!”
Beriwell’s co-founder Galissa, piped in:” One of the things that started Beriwell was my health condition where I can’t take gluten and dairy. It was about still wanting to enjoy food despite being so restricted.”
And thus, Beriwell was born. The three friends Anand, Dash and Galissa, gathered to form Beriwell in April 2017, with research and development beginning one and a half years ago.
“In our previous restaurant and bar business, Dash and I tried to incorporate acai into our menu but it wasn’t a good fit and we shelved it for the future— this is it!” Anand divulged. The store opened in November 2017.
Beriwell is the third joint to serve acai along East Coast Road. However, they do not want to be identified as “just another acai joint on the block”. “Having launched with a smaller menu, Beriwell looks like an acai joint, but we are actually very superfood and health centric,” explained Galissa.
Galissa went on to share that it was the common passion of the three friends to deliver only the best food, which culminated in their brainchild Beriwell. She said: “A lot of places say their food is good for you but they add a lot of other stuff. Here at Beriwell, we really make sure that we do not add in anything that’s not needed.”
The shop serves up a fresh blend of acai soft serve daily, and some days, there is even a couple of fresh blends in a day. Beriwell’s signature acai blend is made of Brazilian acai pulp, together with green bananas. It gives the acai a natural sweetness. This means that the acai served at Beriwell is more tasty and nutritious compared to acai joints that use acai powder.
Beriwell’s current menu consists primarily of their soft-serves named SuperSwirls as well as their wittily named smoothies. “We call our soft-serves SuperSwirls because they’re superfoods which come in a swirl,” Anand told CATCH. The SuperSwirl comes in three variations— Acai, CocoMajik and Twist. Anand shared that the signature acai soft serve is what’s famous; yet the CocoMajik, made with young Thai coconut, is also a favourite with customers. The Twist is a swirl of both flavours.
“We also serve smoothies; handcrafted by my partner and Head Chef, Dash, who has conceptualised these smoothies each with an element that is extremely beneficial to the body,” Anand said, introducing us to the four specialty smoothies: PB & J, Vitamin Sea, LycoPink and Berry-ade. The tongue-in-cheek names given to each smoothie hint at what each smoothie has to offer.
PB & J stands for ‘Peanut Butter and Joy’ as the berry and peanut butter concoction. Galissa tells CATCH that PB & J is reminiscent of the countless joy-inducing peanut butter and jam sandwiches we’ve munched on as children. Vitamin Sea, as one may guess, packs a punch with Vitamin C, and LycoPink brims with the antioxidant Lycopene. Berry-ade is none other than a tribute to Beriwell’s signature acai, for days where you’d prefer to sip on your acai fix.
“In the near future, we definitely see more smoothies coming up,” announced Anand. “We want to bring in fruits and foods that the public may not have heard of but we are very enthusiastic about.”
Both Anand and Galissa spoke fondly of their budding business, bubbling with love for their community. “We know that there are two competitors down the road, but this location was very homey to us, since we grew up in the East as children and up till today,” Galissa divulged. “You can see that our decor is very beach inspired— I guess it’s since this area used to be the ocean in the 50s and 60s!”
Like a Hawaiian haven, Beriwell flaunts tropical flora and fauna muraled on its walls, a bamboo bar counter, and rattan chairs. Anand explained the rationale behind the interior of Beriwell:”As our first outlet, we’d like for this to be our flagship store, thus creating an inviting open and breezy space!”
That being said, Beriwell has intentions on spreading its superfood movement and love across the nation. “We want to create a culture based on only putting the best into your body. By putting what is best into your body, you’ll live your life better and happier,” Anand said. “And we want to create a community spreading this message.“