Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Feb 08th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

A Taste of Brazil

blog_sambaAcaiSamba Rock Acai Café brings guilt-free berry creations and Latin flavor to Santa Cruz

Just a few years ago, during his couple of trips to Brazil, Ron Wilkerson enjoyed riding his BMX bike throughout the scenic landscape, as well as courting his current wife and business partner, Vanessa. It was there in Vanessa’s beautiful native country, where the Wilkersons had the idea to start an acai restaurant in the United States. “We flirted with moving and starting an acai café in other cities,” says Ron, “but Santa Cruz seemed to be the perfect spot for our first one, as it is such a health-conscious place with people who are open to new things.”

The Wilkersons enlisted the help of Rich Hansen of Indicate Design in San Francisco to create their dream space on Water Street. “Indicate Designs used inspirations from the favelas in Brazil, using completely recycled materials and overly heightened creativity,” Ron explains. “With myself being a pro BMX Freestyle rider for many years, and really into bike riding—and with the extremely high theft rate of bikes in town—of course we had to have inside bike parking, and our designer brilliantly incorporated it into the space.”

After the renovations, Vanessa resourced all the suppliers, developed the menu with Ron, and recruited their friends to be taste-testers—then, on Feb. 21, 2009, the Wilkersons officially opened Samba Rock Acai Café. The name, “Samba Rock,” was a good mixture between Brazilian and American words. “Samba Rock is a type of music and dance in Brazil that Vanessa loves very much, as well,” Ron adds.

He and Vanessa rave about the wonders of acai. The couple has “personally found that eating acai every day makes your body actually feel different. The properties that acai has works amazingly well inside your body, as well as it being completely unprocessed, natural, non-dairy stuff,” says Ron. Besides tasting amazing on its own, acai is especially tasty in the Da Silva bowl—which also includes strawberries, bananas and granola—and the berry actually makes you feel full longer (which explains why there are so many acai, “diet pills” available).

“Vanessa’s been eating acai since 1998 when it was only available by the beach for the surf and Jiu-Jitsu culture in Brazil,” Ron says. “Today, it’s one of the most popular foods in Brazil. Acai berries have one of the highest anti-oxidants you can eat, and they are considered a “super-food” because they include vitamins B, C, E, B1, B2, B3, Omega 9, Omega 6, and Fiber, making them good for the skin, joints, cholesterol removal, and high anti-aging properties.”

Besides their exceptionally fresh and tasty variations of acai bowls, Samba Rock Acai Café also offers numerous smoothies, as well as baked goods and caffeinated drinks. The seating is spacious and comfortable, the staff is always friendly and the grooving music will have you dancing in your seat while you enjoy your guilt-free meal. “We have a musical group named, “Valter,” which does capoeira and plays music every other Sunday,” Ron says, “there are other types of live music, like the Ace Band 3 piece, as occasion will allow.”

If you are one of the last people on earth to try an acai berry or have not had the pleasure of going to Samba Rock Acai Café before, stop by today for a tasting sample. Asked what’s in store for the future, Ron says, “We definitely have plans for more Samba Rock Acai Cafes, and are scouting investors at the moment.”


Samba Rock Acai Café is located at 291 Water Street and is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

On the Run

Is there hope for California’s salmon?

 

Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey

Monday, Feb. 8, is Aquarius new moon (19 degrees) and Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey (an imaginative, intelligent and vigilant creature). Monkey is bright, quick, lively, quite naughty, clever, inquiring, sensible, and reliable. Monkey loves to help others. Often they are teachers, writers and linguists. They are very talented, like renaissance people. Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the year of Monkey. Monkey contains metal (relation to gold) and water (wisdom, danger). 2016 will be a year of finances. For a return on one’s money, invest in monkey’s ideas. Metal is related to wind (change). Therefore events in 2016 will change very quickly. We must ponder with care before making financial, business and relationship changes. Fortune’s path may not be smooth in 2016. Finances and business as usual will be challenged. Although we develop practical goals, the outcomes are different than hoped for. We must be cautious with investments and business partnership. It is most important to cultivate a balanced and harmonious daily life, seeking ways to release tension, pressure and stress to improve health and calmness. Monkey is lively, flexible, quick-witted, and versatile. Their gentle, honest, enchanting yet resourceful nature results often in everlasting love. Monkeys are freedom loving. Without freedom, Monkey becomes dull, sad and very unhappy. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), the Chinese official title of Marquis (noble person) was pronounced ‘Hou,’ the same as the pronunciation of ‘monkey’ in Chinese. Monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious (favorable, fortunate) meaning. Monkey years are: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 5

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Wine and Chocolate

West Cliff Wines gets its game on, plus a brand new chocolate cafe on Center Street

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster

 

Dancing Creek Winery

New Zinfandel Port is a ruby beauty

 

Venus Spirits

Changing law could mean new opportunity for local spirits