The restaurant, founded in 2004, has 26 other locations across 15 states with over 120 more locations on the way. Rush Bowls is one of many brands in a growing market of stores geared toward offering popular health foods like açaí bowls.
Husband and wife duo Ted and Elizabeth Bachmeier are co-owners of the new Phoenix store. They own two other Rush Bowls locations in Texas and wanted to expand to Phoenix, where they hope to eventually retire.
Ted Bachmeier said opening a store in Phoenix will give them the chance to cater to a specific audience.
“We do best around college kids and young professionals so (we) wanted to be downtown or near Tempe,” Ted Bachmeier said. “(Our broker) found four or five sites and this is the one we liked the most and this is what we decided to do.”
The menu includes around 40 bowls and smoothies that are full meal replacements and typically contain less than 500 calories each. Ted Bachmeier said the store can also adapt its menu items to fit specific dietary needs like keto, wheat-free and soy-free.
“It's a very healthy option with all kinds of nutrients in it ... so they hopefully get a fast, friendly environment with good, healthy food that matches their restrictions and helps to lead a healthy lifestyle,” Ted Bachmeier said.
Some students who attend ASU's Downtown Phoenix campus said healthy dining options are generally lacking, and the few existing choices are too expensive to take advantage of regularly.
Olivia Cosmi, a freshman studying criminology, said she eats the same things at the Taylor Place dining hall almost every day. The daily meal swipe she is allotted gives her a limited amount of appealing choices, she said.
“I feel like there could be a bigger variety of food because it's almost the same food where the pasta section is and everything is almost the same every day,” Cosmi said.
She said she likes the idea of having healthier and more affordable options close to campus, especially if they accept Maroon and Gold dollars.
“One (restaurant) that would really blow up is one that offers M&G as well, because I only get one meal a day here so a lot of my food is from using M&G and that would honestly be a much healthier alternative for me,” Cosmi said.
Ted Bachmeier said that because of qualifications and applications, it could take around 60 days after the store opens to know whether his location will one day accept M&G as a form of payment. He said he is confident the store will accept M&G in the future.
Janae Wade, a freshman studying community health, wants to see more healthy options around the Downtown Phoenix campus and, regardless of payment methods, is looking forward to trying Rush Bowls when it opens.
“My friends and I were just doing a fasting thing last week, so that would be perfect for me to try,” Wade said. “I just want healthier options.”
Rush Bowls will cater events, and Ted Bachmeier said he and Elizabeth Bachmeier hope to get involved in the Phoenix community.
“My wife has a huge heart for giving and giving back,” Ted Bachmeier said. “So we do a ton of philanthropy type efforts down in Dallas, so anything that we can help with and can help partner with people, we'd love to do that too.”