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You’d be forgiven for not knowing about one of the tastiest and healthiest new restaurants on the South Side, because they don’t advertise. But Playa Bowls has a cult following at the Jersey shore, where people will stand in line for an hour. Their menu features bowls of Acai, Pitaya, Green (kale), Coconut, Chia, or Oatmeal with a variety of toppings.
Jim Dale was a devotee of Playa Bowls long before he had the chance to open his own franchise in Bethlehem. “I asked a close friend of mine, who supplies Playa Bowls with their coffee, if they were franchising,” he says. “After that, I met with owners Rob and Abby and we hit it off.”
Playa Bowls doesn’t advertise because Jim would rather give back to the community instead of worrying about advertising. “It’s something I’m having the time of my life doing,” he says. Jim and his wife, Susan, even built the whole store out themselves.
“I love running the business with the people who work here,” he says. “All of the people who’ve worked for me have been unbelievable.” Including several millennials who, Jim comments, have disproved the common stereotypes about their generation. “I’m totally impressed by their work ethic,” he says, “and how they step up when you need them to.”
Not only have his employees provided the needed support, so has the city. “I cannot say enough good things about the City of Bethlehem,” he says. “Every department has bent over backwards to make sure I got open on time, and helped make that happen.” Ultimately for Jim, it’s all about the customers: the more you treat them right, the more they come back — and the business will take care of itself.