Healthy food chain Acai Express announced the opening of two new locations in Gurabo and Ponce, which will join two other stores in San Juan and Canóvanas, representing a combined $350,000 investment.
The new stores will generate 40 direct jobs, and are part of the company’s plans to finish the year with a total of 17 locations on the island, Héctor Westerband, Acai Express president said.
“We’re proud to continue receiving the support of consumers. Our company is focused on providing an extensive menu of fresh and nutrient-rich products to facilitate the adoption of a healthy lifestyle,” said Westerband.
“Consumers are paying increasing attention to the consumption of organic foods as part of their daily routine, which presents a growth opportunity for us,” he added.
The new store in Ponce, operated by a franchisee, is the first in the southern area of the island.
“We expect that the pace we have experienced in our expansion this year will remain consistent in the mid- and long-term,” said Westerband. “Acai consumption has proven to be more than a passing fad.”
The economic environment following Hurricane María has been favorable to Acai Express’s expansion plans, Westerband said. Sales have remained consistently above 2017 and the pace in which it has opened locations has not stopped. Last April, the chain opened a location at the Borinquen Towers, in the Puerto Nuevo area of San Juan.
Meanwhile, Acai Express Marketing Director Ricardo Mercadé stressed that the company has also devoted its resources to innovate, creating new recipes for acai bowls that will be part of the menu for a limited time.
Recently, Acai Express launched its franchise in the United States, after almost five years of operation in Puerto Rico.