SoBol Franchisee Mark Keegan Opens the Brand’s First Location in Astoria
By Leanne Magnayelmagnaye@queensledger.com
Mark Keegan, a local Brooklyn designer, and Seth Newman, an orthodontist, found a way to combine their talents to open up Astoria’s first SoBol.
Keegan and Newman first connected when Keegan was a patient of Newman’s in Roseland. During one of their sessions, they got to talking and teamed up to redesign one of Newman’s offices. After working successfully together, they decided to expand their efforts to the food industry.
Keegan was originally inspired by an acai bowl truck that drew lots of attention in his neighborhood of Long Beach. After branching out and contacting SoBol team members, they decided to expand the franchise’s geographical footprint to Astoria together.
The franchise opened around 20 locations in Long Island during the last four years, but Astoria attracted the duo because of its heavy foot traffic and proximity to the train.
They also sought to expand their usual demographic and become a place for all locals.
SoBol specializes in acai bowls, but offers many more items. Other menu staples will include pitaya bowls, smoothies, coffee, switchels and local kombucha tea on tap.
SoBol takes pride in their perfected acai bowl recipe, which consists of frozen acai berries, strawberries, bananas, and a splash of soy to create their smoothie like puree in the center of every bowl.
Although they are a franchise, they are brainstorming ways to connect with the local community.
One of their ideas is to bring healthy lunches to the local schools. With an outdoor space in the back, they are also looking to partner up with local artists and musicians.
Keegan hopes that SoBol and other health focused markets, “will help build awareness to the acai bowl” and the healthy, energy lifestyle it entails.
SoBol really focuses on its consistency, service, people, connecting with the community, and nonetheless, the freshness of their food.
SoBol Astoria has been a three-month project thus far, and the team did not let a power outage stop their construction. With a much bigger space, the pair is looking to make this SoBol a place to sit down and relax rather than just a to-go fast food joint.
SoBol Astoria will open on 35-04 Ditmars Boulevard.
Keegan and Newman have been eyeballing other potential locations in Queens as they hope to continue expanding SoBol into New York City.