Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Mar 30th
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

 

Best of Santa Cruz 2015

In 40 years of publishing, Good Times has seen a lot of “bests.”

 

Spring Triangle: Three Spring Festivals—Aries, Taurus, Gemini

The Spring signs Aries, Taurus and Gemini constitute a triangle of force that sets the template for the nine signs that follow and the template for the entire year (Spring 2015 - Spring 2016) ahead. Aries initiates new ideas, Taurus stabilizes the new thinking of Aries and Gemini takes the initiating stabilized ideas of Aries/Taurus and disperses them to all of humanity. It is in this way that humanity learns new things, with the help of Mercury, the messenger. As Spring unfolds, three elements emerge: the Fire of Aries (initiating new ideas), the Earth of Taurus (anchoring the ideas of God through Mercury) and the Air of communicating Gemini. These three signs/elements are the Three Spring Festivals. They are the “triangle of force” forming the template (patterns) of energy for the upcoming new year. After these three we then have the soothing, calming, warming, nurturing and tending waters of the mother (Cancer). Cancer initiates our next season under the hot suns of summer. Planets, stars and signs create the Temple of Light directing humanity towards all things new. March 29 is Palm Sunday, when the Christ, World Teacher, was led into Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (humility). Palms waving above His head, signified recognition of the Christ’s divinity. Palm Sunday is the Sunday before the Easter (Resurrection Festival). Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, the week of capture, imprisonment, passion, sacrifice, crucifixion, death and resurrection of the christ. All events in the Christ’s life represent events (initiations) that humanity experiences through many lifetimes. We turn our attention to these holy events this week. Their concepts portray and reveal to us greater spiritual understanding. Then, Aries, the “light of life itself” shines through us.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Best of Santa Cruz 2015 Editor's Picks

BEST NIGHT CAP WARSAW MULE AT SHADOWBROOK
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Spring Spirits

Sean Venus’ gin straight up, remembering Rosa’s and a tasting of Hungarian wines

 

What’s your favorite most recent outdoor discovery in Santa Cruz?

A hike that’s across from Waddell Beach. I didn’t realize you could go across the highway and do a super simple loop, and it’s beautiful. You can see the coastline. Liz Porter, Santa Cruz, Community Outreach

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Muscat 2012

 

Front Street Kitchen

Pop-up spot attracts paleo crowd with locally sourced low-carb meals