Playa Bowls secures multiunit commitments, adding 54 new shops to pipeline

Some of Playa Bowls’ acai offerings.

Belmar-based Playa Bowls on Monday announced eight new multiunit franchise agreements have been signed. In all, the agreements will lead to the establishment of 54 new shops, underscoring the nation’s leading superfruit bowl shop’s nationwide growth. As part of these franchise commitments, Playa Bowls will enter the Chicago market and increase its presence with existing owners in Miami, New York, Boston and other regions.

Brian Cutlip, co-owner and president of Vandelay Bowls LLC, will spearhead Playa Bowls’ expansion in Chicago alongside partners Andy Frukacz and Grant Hosking. The new Playa Bowls franchise owners will bring the first Playa Bowls locations to Illinois through a commitment to open 10 units over the next five years. Cutlip and his business partners are currently exploring retail locations across Chicago’s most popular neighborhoods, including Fulton Market, Wicker Park and Lincoln Park.

Leading the brand’s expansion in Miami is Gary Yip of Hoboken Hospitality, along with operating partner and existing Playa Bowls franchise owner, Alexandra Arguello. The business partners recently opened two Playa Bowls locations, including a beachside shop in North Miami as well as a location in Plantation, Florida. Together, Hoboken Hospitality and Arguello, already operating five locations, will utilize their extensive experience in the hospitality space and familiarity with the Florida market to launch eight more locations throughout Miami and into Orlando.

“Over the years, we have witnessed Playa Bowls evolve from its New Jersey roots to its remarkable expansion throughout the Northeast,” Yip, owner of Hoboken Hospitality, said. “With the tremendous growth opportunity in and around Miami, we are excited to be part of Playa Bowls’ next chapter. Florida’s vibrant energy and health-conscious residents make it an ideal market for the brand.”

“With these 54 shops added to the 100-plus units already in the pipeline, Playa Bowls’ growth is only ramping up. We are well on the way to achieving our goal to establish a presence in every region of the U.S., and our current initiatives are successfully reaching key markets nationwide,” Jason Tipp, chief development officer at Playa Bowls, said. “We’re thrilled that existing franchise owners comprise 60% of our new commitments and are rapidly signing significant multiunit commitments while we continue to welcome new operators into the Playa Bowls family. Our franchise owners demonstrate a clear passion for the brand and our mission to provide a healthy lifestyle to communities around the world. Signing these eight multiunit development commitments give us a strong start to 2024, while we have a strong pipeline with even more commitments pending in the next quarter.”

For the remainder of 2024, Playa Bowls plans to sustain this momentum by opening 75 new shops and securing franchise commitments to enable the addition of 150 more locations in both existing and new markets. Targeted markets for expansion this year include Houston and Dallas, while tremendous potential remains to grow the brand in many existing markets.

Since its inception in 2014, Playa Bowls has emerged as a leader in the national superfruit bowl shop segment. Today, the brand has more than 200 shops systemwide, operating in 22 states.