Scripps Ranch Everbowl employees (left to right) Manuela, Caitlin and Savvy ready to greet customers with a friendly smile. The brand statement, â€œUnevolve,â€ is prominently displayed on the store wall and on employee shirts. (photo by Cynthia Kurose)
Everbowl provides experience for young adults
Scripps Ranch native Jeff Fenster has found a way to give back to the community while pursuing his passion for health and nutrition. Everbowl, which was founded by Fenster in 2016, opened its Scripps Ranch location on Feb. 7 at 9844 Hibert St., with local high school and college students behind the counter, ready to greet customers with warm smiles and cold, nutritious treats.
Fenster was particularly enthusiastic about opening this store, which is one of seven that he currently owns and operates.
“I love Scripps Ranch. I grew up there. I went to Jerabek Elementary and Scripps Ranch High School. Having a store there means a lot to me,” he said.
While his stores employ staff of all ages and experience levels, Fenster said that he likes hiring high school and college-aged staff because he believes he can give back through mentoring and teaching valuable skills that will serve them well in the future.
He looks to find high-energy, young adults to work at his stores.
“There are two rules to work at an Everbowl: you have to be able to make friends with everyone who walks through the door, and you have to have fun,” Fenster said.
In today’s technology and smartphone-dominated society, Fenster explained, “we no longer make eye contact, and customer service … loses that personal touch. I can give back to my employees by showing them that they can stand out among their peers by making eye contact, making friends with the person on the other side of their conversation, whether it’s a job interview, in college or whatever goes on in their life.”
Caitlin Toth, a local high school senior and Everbowl employee, explained that her manager had recently been in the store offering advice and encouragement to employees who were in the midst of college applications.
“He was talking to us about how the process can be stressful but it’s all about how you perceive it, and just realizing that it’s not fear, but excitement. All of our managers are great,” Toth said.
Manuela Velez, a Scripps Ranch resident and senior at Westview High School, also finds her employment experience at Everbowl to be rewarding.
“Honestly, I enjoy coming to work every single day,” she said. “The managers are always watching out for us. We’re like a family. We call ourselves an Everbowl family. It’s absolutely great.”
While employees made it clear that Everbowl is a great place to work, the food also keeps customers coming back for more.
“I was here on opening day,” said Kim Witham, a Scripps Ranch resident and frequent Everbowl customer. “I used to go to the one in Poway and then we learned one was opening here. We come almost every day.”
In Fenster’s words, Everbowl serves bowls of “stuff that’s been around forever and that provides quality nutrition.” He explained that this idea is what inspired the name “everbowl,” because the ingredients that go in the bowls they serve are “evergreen.”
As for the “unevolved” brand statement emblazoned across the store’s interior wall and on employee shirts, Fenster explained that, while over time, “society has created fake and chemical-ridden foods in laboratories … we only provide you real food. No chemicals, nothing that was manufactured in a lab and nothing that hasn’t been around forever. It’s Everbowl for everybody.”
Menu options include bowls of superfoods – like acai, graviola, pitaya and acerola – blended with more traditional fruits, like bananas, pineapple and berries. Then, in plain view of the customer, “bowlologists” – as Fenster refers to his employees preparing the bowls – top the blended fruit base with a variety of fresh fruits, granola and more superfood options.
Customers can choose from a selection of pre-designed “local favorites,” or they can opt to build their own 24-ounce bowl with unlimited base and topping choices from the menu for a flat cost of $8.
“We’re all about making sure customers leave happy,” Fenster said. “We’re a community store. We don’t want anyone to feel intimidated. Our bowlologists will walk you through the experience and together we’ll find something you like,” he said.
For more information visit everbowl.com.