Ocean City Gives Warm Welcome to Soulberri Smoothie and Acai Bowl Eatery

456
SHARE
Soulberri’s owners James and Jenny Develin get a little help cutting the ribbon as family, friends and dignitaries show their support.

By MADDY VITALE

For anyone who wants food that is not only good for you, but also delicious, cool and scrumptious, there is a new place in Ocean City that will fulfill that wish.

Soulberri at 338 Ocean Ave. formally opened Friday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate its grand opening in town.

Crowds lined up to order from a menu that features tasty homemade acai bowls, fruit and veggie smoothies and locally roasted coffee drinks.

It’s the second Soulberri by owner James Develin. The other Soulberri is located in Develin’s hometown of Brigantine.

Develin thanked the community for coming out for the ceremony and to sample Soulberri’s delights.

“I am truly appreciative of the community and everyone who came out today,” he said.

He also said he owes a lot of thanks and appreciation to his wife, Jenny, for standing by him every step of the way in his business endeavors. In addition, he said general manager Ryan Bonanni is instrumental in making the Soulberri business a success.

Sweet and delicious healthy treats line the counter at Soulberri’s in Ocean City.

Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, said a few words before Develin cut the ribbon officially opening the eatery.

City Council members, along with Chamber representatives, came out to show support for the Develins and Soulberri.

Gillian wished the owners much success and thanked them for becoming a part of Ocean City’s business community.

Michele Mohan, of West Berlin, N.J., and her children, CJ, 2, and 3-year-old Sadie, enjoyed acai bowls and smoothies.

“The kids love it. I do, too,” Mohan said with a smile.

If Develin’s name sounds familiar — and not just from being a successful owner of the Brigantine Soulberri’s for seven seasons — it may just be because he was a three-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots.

In 2017, he became the first Patriot fullback since Sam Cunningham in 1978 to earn Pro Bowl honors. Develin is also part of New England’s All-Dynasty and All-2010’s teams.

Develin, now retired from the NFL, talked about football and what it was like playing fullback, essentially protecting famed quarterback Tom Brady during his superstardom with the Patriots.

“It’s all part of my past, a dream come true to play football professionally,” Develin said. “I’m very appreciative of the opportunity I had.”

Jenny and James Develin and their children from left, Jimmy, 7, Joey, 2, Adrienne, 4, and 6-year-old Will, enjoy the day.

What Develin learned on the field has helped him transition into a successful businessman and an entrepreneur, he explained.

“I’m always surprised about how many lessons in football have helped me in this second career,” he said. “But football taught me about mental toughness.”

And while tough, the married father of four is also smart about business, and smart about the importance of eating healthy, which is how he decided to open healthy food eateries.

That healthy lifestyle is also embraced by his wife, Jenny, who has helped her husband make his world after football a second career of successes.

Jenny said her husband’s successes never surprise her. “I never doubt my husband. With anything he does, he is a success, as a family man, father, a husband, a football player, a business owner,” she said.

The couple decided back in the winter to branch out and open Soulberri in Ocean City.

“The right opportunity came at the right time,” she said of the couple deciding to open the business in Ocean City. “We always take the kids to Ocean City because it is so family friendly here. I know Soulberri will bring good things to Ocean City.”

Michele Mohan, of West Berlin, N.J., and her two children, CJ, 2, and 3-year-old Sadie, enjoy some cool treats.

Lilly Smith, 20, of New Hope, N.J., and Kate Dougherty, 20, of New Hope and Brigantine, enjoyed some cool treats. Smith was eating an acai bowl called “Sponger,” which was topped with homemade granola, strawberries, cacao nibs, almonds and local raw honey.

“It’s so refreshing,” Smith said. “It makes you feel so good eating something so healthy.”

Dougherty, who summers in Brigantine, works at Soulberri in Brigantine. She is a vegan and said there are so many options for her on the Soulberri menu.

“I love it. A lot of young people really enjoy the smoothies and bowls,” Dougherty said. “I think it will be popular here. In Brigantine, we have lines around the block because people realize it is good and good for you.”

For more on Soulberri, visit www.soulberri.com or visit them on social media.

Soulberri attracts a crowd at its grand opening at 338 Ocean Ave. in Ocean City.