Bringing the Playa to Traverse City

A smoothie bowl franchise opens downtown and becomes a popular place to eat and work


K. Kaberle/staff

Playa Bowls offers dozens of smoothie bowls to choose from.

Kendall Kaberle and Nola Raven

  Playa Bowls is a small smoothie shop that originated in New Jersey, but the franchise has expanded and made its way to many places across the United States, including Traverse City. The new shop is located downtown on East State Street, where they sell a variety of smoothie-related products, all of which are packed with nutritious fruits and superfoods to boost one’s energy throughout the day.

  “I think since we are advertising on our Instagram and it’s something we don’t really have around here it will be a big attraction to teenagers,” junior Giovanna Piombo said. 

  While Playa Bowls is primarily known for their smoothie bowls, they also sell other smoothie-related and wellness items, such as regular smoothies, fresh pressed juices, kombucha, coffee, oatmeal bowls, and more. A few students were fortunate enough to be some of the first people to get a job there and help open a new store in Traverse City. 

  “I just feel lucky I guess because not everyone gets the job and when I found it, I was really excited to be a part of it,” sophomore Hannah Pulliam said.

  The grand opening of the Playa Bowls location in Traverse City was Saturday, Sept. 24. Before opening day, some of the staff members came together to clean and decorate the space in preparation to make and sell smoothie bowls to crowds of hungry customers. Since opening day, many customers have come to get a feeling of the modern/tropical vibe the shop has going on. 

  “My favorite thing about it is the LED lights and our garage door that opens. It’s super small and cozy, it kinda reminds me of spring break so it doesn’t really feel like you’re at work,” Piombo said. 

  Playa Bowls is open every day of the week with varying hours, so their staff urges new customers to come check it out and grab a smoothie bowl.