Big Açai will open its “super food café”

Big Açai will bring its “super food café” to downtown Des Moines, adding its sixth location since opening as a food truck in 2017.

Owner Lanette Byers plans to open the newest Big Açai on the walkway northeast of 801 Grand Ave. The store is targeting an opening in the fall.

The 1,000-square-foot location will offer a menu similar to its other cafes, with an emphasis on take-out food that can be eaten next door in the 801 Grand’s common lounge area or brought back to workers’ desks.

Menu items will include do-it-yourself bowls with acai, coconut, hot matcha or oats and other toppings, smoothies, espresso drinks, hot chocolate, salads, burritos and toast with avocado spread and other toppings.

In existing cafes, toast is offered on bread. With a lack of prep space, Big Açai’s catwalk location will instead wrap traditional toppings with crostini for guests to put together on their own.

Big Acai focuses on using organic, plant-based ingredients for all of its menu offerings. Acai, a small berry grown on the palm trees of South America, is one of the eight superfoods recommended by dietitians for a healthy diet.

“All of our concepts are designed to harness superfoods in some way,” Byers said.

Big Açai has stores in West Des Moines, Ankeny and Ames. It also has two food trucks, one of which is based in Okoboji and travels around Northwest Iowa, and the other that travels to communities near the Des Moines metro.

The skywalk location will open early in the morning and close around 2:30 p.m. An official opening date has not been set.

Kim Norvell covers growth and development for the Registry. Contact her at [email protected] or 515-284-8259. Follow her on Twitter @KimNorvellDMR.

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