Aimed at feeding the body and soul, Luna Soul and Bowls in Ocean View is the creation of aunt and niece duo, Tara Todd and Nicole Crudele. “We’re a wholesome food café and a yoga studio that provides something for every phase of your life,” Crudele says.

Ananda – Bliss

What sets Luna Soul and Bowls apart from many other acai bowl cafes is the unique blend they’ve created for their bowl base. “It’s really unlike any other acai blend that you’ll find. First of all, we make it here, there’s no ice and no sweetener,” Todd explains. The LB blend starts with acai berries and includes strawberries, blueberries, soy milk and a special seven superfood powder mix. The powdered superfoods include pomegranate, mangosteen, camu camu, moringa leaf, organic acai, blueberry and aronia. However, the exact recipe is kept top-secret. “We have our recipe down to very precise, measurement. I mean, we even count out the exact number of strawberries and blueberries. But, we won’t even share our recipe with our employees,” Todd says.

Each superfood has been chosen for a specific health benefit and these benefits are displayed throughout Luna Soul and Bowls. For example, camu camu is high in vitamin C, contains powerful antioxidants and has been shown to fight inflammation. Mangosteen has been shown to support the immune system, maintain healthy skin, promote weight control, provide antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. These superfoods also provide a flavor boost for the bowls. “We don’t use any sweeteners in our blend, but the superfood powders naturally sweeten the LB acai blend,” Todd says.

Luna Soul and Bowls’ most popular item is the Luna Bowl, which starts with LB blend topped with strawberries, blueberries, coconut flakes and Nutella. Another popular bowl is the Heavenly Body which consists of the LB blend topped with coconut flakes, mango, kiwi, pineapple and agave nectar. Or the Celestial Bowl which features the LB blend topped with bananas, strawberries, almonds, goji berries and honey. All of the bowls are topped with granola and start at $10 each. Luna Soul and Bowls offers a Luna Card, which gets you your twelfth bowl free after the purchase of 11 bowls (for the 11 cycles of the moon).

Luna also features smoothies. Guests can pick from one of their recommended blends, including the Eclipse ($7), with acai berries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas and soymilk; or opt to create their own. Also, very popular are Luna’s Moon Balls, which are protein snacks that come in three flavors: peanut butter, date and cacao and strawberry with white chocolate($5 for 6). “The peanut butter is my recipe, the cacao and date is Nicole’s recipe and the strawberry and white chocolate is her sister Antoinette’s recipe,” Todd says.

Shanti – Peace

“In May, this was just a dream,” Todd says. After a trip to South Carolina and a delicious acai bowl, Todd decided that Ocean View could use an acai bowl café. After bringing the idea up to her niece, a yoga instructor, the idea grew, and Luna Soul and Bowls was created. They found the perfect location in September and started the buildout. “We used a contractor, but anything that we could do ourselves, we did,” Todd says. The family painted the walls and provided all the décor. Todd’s 16-year-old daughter even helped with creating the website and much of the art on the walls. In just a matter of months, the family was able to create a colorful, energizing environment. “ When we say this is a family business, we really mean it,” Todd says.

Luna Soul and Bowls just had their grand opening on Dec. 1, but the community has already embraced the business. As a full-time special needs teacher for the deaf, Todd knew that she wanted to cater to teachers. “As a teacher, I know our days are so hectic and it’s hard to get a healthy lunch,” Todd explains. So, they’ve started delivering to the Upper Township schools on select days of the week. Crudele has also started teaching yoga to the students in the school district.

Luna Soul & Bowls has over 80 yoga classes each month. They specialize in aerial yoga, but also have classes for everyone at every level, from 6 months to 100 years old. “We really wanted to offer something for everyone. Nicole is such an incredible yoga instructor, I know she’s my niece but she’s very special,” Todd says. Through Jan. 20, Luna Soul and Bowls will run a special for $220 that includes a 20-class yoga pass that can be used anytime throughout the year and 20 bowls at 20% off.

Luna Soul & Bowls is available for parties including birthday, girls’ get-togethers and couples events. The parties will include an hour-long yoga class followed by acai bowls. Adult parties can also be B-Y-O.

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