Acai Express restaurant franchise opens in Rockaway

A Puerto Rico-based fruit-based restaurant franchise has opened its first New Jersey location, in Rockaway, it announced Tuesday.

Acai Express, which operates 16 locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, opened last weekend at Rockaway Town Plaza along Interstate 80 and Mount Hope Avenue, it said in a news release.

The eatery, at 395 Mount Hope Ave., offers fresh fruit smoothies, grain bowls and more, based around the acai berry “superfruit,” it said. The grand opening celebration drew hundreds of diners, the chain said. Township Mayor Michael Puzio helped cut the ribbon on the location.

“Rockaway Township is Morris County’s largest municipality, with year-round, family-friendly activities for active consumers,” founder Hector Westerband said in a prepared statement. “As the leader in 100 percent organic Grade A acai, and a menu that includes acai, oatmeal and pitaya bowls, smoothies, salads, juices and lemonades, Acai Express offers high-quality, high-nutrient meals, grain bowls and/or desserts perfectly suited for New Jersey’s active consumers.”

Fourteen of Acai Express’ locations are in Puerto Rico, with one in Florida in addition to the one in Rockaway. The franchise is owned by George Paul.