Sally Matiszik has always loved food, to the point that she's been dining all over St. Louis with an international gourmet club for the past five years. When she started working with Vitality Bowls to open Missouri's first franchise location this year, she was convinced she'd found the perfect foodie-friendly outlet for herself, and for St. Louis.
"It's a lifestyle-based restaurant," Matiszik says. "Not just a trend."
Matiszik and her husband Mark opened Vitality Bowls
(8029 Dale Avenue, Richmond Heights
) on July 12, serving up juices, smoothies, panini sandwiches and even St. Louis' first custom-made nitro matcha tea, which comes from Park Avenue Coffee. After being a stay-at-home-mom and a commissioned sales rep, Matiszik dropped her job to devote herself to Vitality Bowls. (Her husband, who retains his, also helps.)
"Everything on the menu has a nutritional purpose," Matiszik says. "Even if you don't come in for healthy food, you come in because it tastes good."
Vitality Bowl's smoothies and juices have no extra fillers or even any dairy, consisting only of pure fruits and vegetables.
Go Green and The Dragon smoothies
In addition to healthy drinks and salads, the cafe also has a vast menu of smoothie bowls — sprinkled with superfoods from gogi berries and to kale that are, in Matiszik's words, "totally Instagram-able."
Several years ago, Matiszik met a native Brazilian through the gourmet club, someone who eventually invited her and her family to Brazil. There, Matiszik tried for the first time a key superfood found all over the smoothie bowl menu — açai berries.
"It's so common there, and I didn't even know the health benefits," Matiszik says. "That was years and years ago, and the same person came to the soft opening of Vitality Bowls and noted that it really is pure açai."
On the savory side of the menu, Vitality Bowls offers panini sandwiches and salads. All the meats on the sandwiches are nitrate-free and grass-fed; they source organically whenever possible.
Roasted Turkey panini
Matiszik would like to open another location in the future. Along with that, she and her husband are exploring ideas to make the menu even better. And they're open to special events: Vitality Bowls can be seen at the first-ever Veg Fest
in Forest Park on August 4.
"What I love about Vitality Bowls is that they give us opportunities to develop things like secret menu items for St. Louis," Matiszik says. "I'm hoping to use some of our partners to come up with something special."
Editor's note: A previous version of this story wrongly described the status of Matiszik's husband, who continues to work another job in addition to Vitality Bowls. We regret the error.