Greenville native and cancer survivor Zach Elliott partnered with Sweetberry Bowls, a health-focused fast-casual chain, in 2017, and will open its first South Carolina restaurant this summer across from NOMA Square.
The location, 233 N. Main St., Suite 11, is exactly what Elliott, now based in Florida, was looking for to open a Sweetberry Bowls in his hometown.
“I think Greenville might be one of our best locations,” he says. “The location is phenomenal at NOMA Square.”
Elliott says Sweetberry Bowls will be open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. seven days a week, depending on sales, and is actively hiring to open in June now that most of the up-fit is complete.
One of the founding partners of the chain, Elliott and another partner, Kyle Kissane, operate two, soon-to-be three, stores in Florida. Sweetberry Bowls currently has 20 stores in Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina.
Sweetberry Bowls was founded in 2017 to feed the growing community of health-conscious consumers. The goal is to inspire people to be more conscious of what they eat and their everyday diets.
The menu follows the trend of fresh ingredients in simple, customizable forms: bowls, salads, oatmeal, smoothies, or wraps.
Bowls include açai, pitaya, green, or coconut bases with a variety of fruit, granola, and nut toppings. Six signature salads or the create-your-own option offer a variety of proteins with vegan and vegetarian options such as chicken, beans, quinoa, or chickpeas. Three different oatmeal bowls of steel-cut oats and fruit or nut toppings offer a heartier breakfast option than the other bowl options.
Nine smoothies range from the kid-friendly PBJ (banana, strawberries, peanut butter, almond milk) to the more adult-leaning Green Energy (banana, vanilla protein, flax oil, spirulina, peanut butter, almond milk). The seven wraps grilled on a panini press are similar to the signature salad options but served as hand-helds.
Elliott, who grew up in Greenville and now lives in Florida, was diagnosed with a rare cancer – osteogenic sarcoma – at 9 years old. He was given a 30 percent chance of survival. After a year of chemotherapy and treatment that resulted in losing his left leg, he’s been in remission for 15 years.
“It made me grow up quickly,” he says.
It also gave him an even deeper connection to the Greenville community that has allowed him to be involved in the fundraising and support of the newly completed Cancer Survivors Park.
With a focus on health and nutrition since his diagnosis, Elliott partnered with Sweetberry Bowls founder and CEO Desi Saran after meeting him in Thailand a year prior.
Never having worked a single day in a restaurant but having the passion for health and business, Elliott and several other partners opened the first Sweetberry Bowls in 2017. Since then, Elliott has been looking for a way to get back to Greenville.
“I love Greenville. It’s my home,” he says. “I’ll probably always have a place in Florida. But the main reason I wanted to be in Greenville is to be close to my family.”