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Meet Jacob Saldana of The Fit Bar Superfood Cafe in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacob Saldana.

Jacob, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
We have been in the fitness space since 2011 when we opened our first gym in Seattle, WA. In October of 2015 The Fit Bar Superfood Cafe was born out of the need of a healthy option that we could send our gym members and personal training clients to. We only had a couple hours with our members and clients every week in the gym and knew that creating a space for them to go while outside of the gym to grab a healthy smoothie, superfood coffee, or quality supplements would be instrumental in helping them achieve their fitness goals.

I have been living in the LA area since 2012 and commuting back and forth from Seattle every few weeks with the goal of bringing The Fit Bar Superfood Cafe to a community that we could serve. Outside of health and fitness I would say my hobby is going to coffee shops, healthy smoothie bars, and cafes and I knew there wasn’t a place that did what we did from not only an offering stand point but more importantly a community stand point. One day driving down PCH past Seal Beach on my way to Huntington Beach I came across the perfect space for The Fit Bar.

We brought our good friend Joey Papadopoulos on board and made our move on the property. Little did we know that permits would take us nearly 2 years to open! Through perseverance we finally opened in January of 2018. Although it was a battle we couldn’t be happier with what was created and to see the support from our neighbors and customers. We set out to be the local, health conscious coffee shop and have focused on serving our neighbors with really no marketing. It’s a great feeling knowing that what we offer is not only appreciated but needed.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Our largest challenge was getting through the permitting process and the build out. We wanted to invest in the neighborhood so we pulled all of our resources to purchase the property with the idea we would be open in 3 months or so and at that point generating some revenue to help pay the mortgage. The reality turned in to being 23 months of paying the mortgage and all construction costs ourselves without any financial backing outside of our personal funds and revenue generated from our other businesses. It was a very stressful time but through passion for what we were creating we stuck with it and didn’t give up.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Fit Bar Superfood Cafe – what should we know?
The Fit Bar Superfood Cafe is known for deliciously hand crafted Acai Bowls, Plant Based Protein Smoothies, and Health Conscious Coffees. We believe it’s our responsibility to not only serve delicious options but to be conscious of what we’re serving and how it might affect people health and wellness goals. We want to create a space that promotes conversation and when requested we can dive deeper into how we can support our customers. We offer nutrition coaching as well as community beach workouts.

We understand that leading a healthy lifestyle might differ from one person to the next. There isn’t only one version of a healthy diet and we’re prepared to dig deep and educate those customers who would like to learn more. Nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated. A healthy lifestyle starts with healthy habits. We have always led to people over profits and truly believe that if we not only serve amazing products but help build a healthier community then we’ll be of service to our neighbors for many years to come.

One thing that I believe sets us apart is that while other businesses might think they offer the best coffee, best acai bowl, best smoothie, etc. We would argue that WE DO and in that same breathe say that none of that even matters. What we tell our crew members is although our offerings are the best….they aren’t what matter, they are only a catalyst for a conversation with our neighbors. They might be what brought them in but it’s our conversations and relationships that we build along the way that will keep them coming back.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Absolutely this location would not have been possible without my brothers, Andrew and Daniel and Blescynthia Maris who are all Co-Founders of The Fit Bar Superfood Cafe and run the show in our Seattle, WA and Renton, WA locations. My business partner and good friend Joey Papadopoulos who believed so much in not only me but the brand to commit and go all in before even trying our offerings! The Fit Bar Superfood Cafe is what it is because of the awesome crew members we have on board and the customer service they provide. Last but not least, our neighbors, who have become our customers and part of our Fit Bar Family.

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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