WHITE MARSH, MD—A new acai bowl and smoothie shop will soon be coming to Greenleigh at Crossroads in White Marsh/Middle River.
When Lisa Harty’s son, who plays football for the New Orleans Saints, reported that he was having trouble locating his favorite acai bowls and smoothies in New Orleans, Harty began formulating recipes in her Baltimore kitchen. More people started trying and enjoying them, and she was encouraged to launch a business venture that sells the healthy snacks and energy drinks. Harty recently signed a lease with St. John Properties, Inc. for space at 11531 Wakefield Street, a single-story retail building situated within the mixed-use community of Greenleigh in Baltimore County. Bill Holzman, Vice President, Retail Leasing for St. John Properties represented the landlord in this transaction.
Lisa Harty has three sons including Deonte Harris, who starred at Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore before playing football for Assumption College. He is entering his third year as a wide receiver and return specialist for the New Orleans Saints. As a professional athlete, he closely monitors everything he eats and drinks because it impacts his performance.
“I spent many hours cooking and providing nutritious meals for my family, but as they moved out of state, it became increasingly difficult to provide what they wanted,” Harty explained. “When Deonte started playing in New Orleans, he reported difficulty locating the same quality of acai bowls and smoothies that he enjoyed in Baltimore. After inventing some of my own, I flew to New Orleans to teach him how to prepare them himself and found out, later, that he was passing along the recipes to his teammates. The response was so favorable that I was encouraged to start a new venture – Enjoy a Bowl – in Baltimore.”
Opening in early 2022, Enjoy a Bowl will offer cold-pressed juices, smoothies, acai bowls, toasts and other healthy food items. Harty intends to emphasize the use of fresh ingredients such as bananas, blueberries, strawberries and dragon fruit. She explains that many unhealthy food options exist in restaurants and the use of all-natural ingredients makes a noticeable difference in both taste and its impact on the body and mind.
“Our goal is to provide menu items that are beneficial to the community and for consumers to notice the difference,” Harty explains. “I am extremely familiar with Greenleigh and consider this the perfect place for my new venture based on the mix of businesspeople and residents that work and live here. Our products will appeal to anyone looking for a quick and healthy pick-me-up snack in the morning or afternoon. I am particularly encouraged by the large number of people that will eventually live in this community. There will be nothing like Enjoy a Bowl in this section of Baltimore County so we expect to perform extremely well.”
“We believe this concept of integrating fresh ingredients and encouraging healthy eating will be a great fit for Greenleigh, and compliment the existing health and wellness providers in the community,” stated Bill Holzman of St. John Properties. “In my experience, people tend to gravitate to, root for and support local entrepreneurs looking to make a positive difference.”
St. John Properties, together with partner Somerset Construction Company, initiated development activities on Greenleigh, a 1,000-acre mixed-use business community that includes multiple real estate classes including multifamily, in 2007. Greenleigh reflects a “New Urbanism” concept, with approximately 500 acres carved out for a range of housing options, mid-rise commercial office buildings and complimentary retail and hospitality amenities.
Upon completion, Greenleigh will include 1,900 residential units including single-family homes, townhomes and multifamily units, along with nearly two million square feet of commercial office space. In total, the development will support more than 2.5 million square feet of commercial, retail and hospitality space.