UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | January 27, 2023

Local shop offers tasty, healthy alternative to ice cream

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Expanding with a uniquely blended idea of tasty, sweet and healthy, a local restaurant owner made a big step with his original St. George business by opening a second location.  

Brian Kirkland, owner and founder of Truberry Acai Bowls, attributes some of his success to the uniqueness of his restaurant and food products. To run two locations, Kirkland’s Truberry bowl recipes have grabbed the attention of enough hungry stomachs yearning for a healthy treat. The first store is located at 144 W. Brigham Road No. 20 and the second at 511 E. St. George Blvd.

A Truberry bowl is different than what someone may find in smoothies or frozen yogurt. Dairy products, extra sugar, ice and regular juices are not added.

“A lot of people come in thinking it’s yogurt or ice cream,” Kirkland said. “Sometimes they try to walk out and I say ‘Come on, you have to taste it before you leave.’ Once you’ve tasted it, it’s different than anything. You can still use it as a treat because it satisfies the sweet, except it’s low in sugar and calories.”

A Truberry Acai Bowl is a mixture of different organic juices and blended fruits including the featured acai berry. The blend is topped with flaxseed, granola, bananas and honey.  

Nancy Cyr, a Truberry regular, said she tries to bring new-comers with her as often as possible.

“I come here at least once a week and sometimes as many as three times a week,” Cyr said. “I am a little biased because [my daughter] works here, but I like eating here because I don’t feel guilty. It’s healthier than ice cream.”

First-time customer Bethany Hill took her family to Truberry, and they each ordered different flavors. She said she would definitely go again because the price was good for the size of the cup, which was big enough for lunch.

Only the TruBlue flavor is offered in all sizes, including the small at $3.75. Other flavors including the TruLime, TruGreen and TruPeanut Butter are served in a medium bowl at $5.75 or a large bowl at $7.75. 

Kirkland’s inspiration and recipes come from his friend’s restaurant located in Southern California, The Bowl of Heaven.

“I was trying to get out of the painting industry,” Kirkland said. “So I figured I’d try my hand in something else.”

After working out an agreement for the recipes and remodeling the store, the first Truberry location opened April 4. Four months later, Kirkland opened another store, replacing the Bean Scene on the St. George Boulevard.

“My uncle and his wife are running the second store,” Kirkland said. “[My business] is successful enough that my uncle having invested interest [in it] can invest the money as well.”

In deciding on the Truberry name, Kirkland said he wanted to go off of the acai berry because it’s a “super fruit.” So he and others decided because acai is the truest fruit, they should go with Trueberry. Eventually the E was dropped to look better in the design. The store is painted very plainly with some contemporary art hanging on the wall. Kirkland said he wanted something different than the bright colors someone would see in a frozen yogurt shop.

Stephanie Slack, long-time friend of Kirkland’s and employee at Truberry, said the restaurant is a fun place, with a lot of families coming in. She said they are advertising with Facebook and Twitter and getting the word out. She also said they try to keep things as convenient as possible, including keeping their doors open until 9 p.m. for those evening cravings.

“We already have some usual customers, and we know what they want to order,” Slack said. “Usually healthy doesn’t taste this good, so that’s why they keep coming back.”

For curbside orders at the Brigham Road location, customers can order 10 minutes earlier by calling 435-767-1711 or texting 435-862-6189. For discounts and additional convenience, ask Kirkland about using the “pay with square” smartphone application.