By Cassidy Campbell |
About a month ago, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and began clicking through my followers’ stories. Many of my Waco friends were posting about some place called “Mamaka Bowls”. When I clicked on the link that took me to their Instagram page, I read the caption: “BIG. NEWS. DAY. WACO!!!! We are coming for you!!! We are STOKED to announce Mamaka #2 will be opening in Waco, TX.”
As I began to stalk their Instagram, I realized that Waco was about to get another place serving açaí bowls. From the first looks of their page, I saw that they are based in Arkansas and that they hand-make their bowls for the students and the town of Fayetteville.
After asking around, Arkansas students raved to me about how amazing this place was and how lucky Waco was to get the second Mamaka Bowls location.
I became so interested in learning more about this spot and talking to the owners. I wanted to know their story and why they decided to come to Waco, Texas out of all places for their next store front.
So, I decided to give this place a slide into the DMs.
I was able to get in contact with KK Hudson, a 22-year-old who runs the business with her mom Carrie Hudson.
Their journey started in 2012 when they traveled to California to spend their summer on the beach— this is where they tried their first açaí bowls and their obsession began. Summer ended and so did the delicious bowls, so when they returned home to Dallas, they tried to perfect their very own version of what California had made.
Carrie spent weeks trying to recreate the bowls and homemade granola, and finally delivered these bowls to KK at her high school. KK’s friends became curious by what these smoothie bowls were, so Carrie started to deliver them to her friends as well. Soon after, the orders began to come in from many students at her school.
After a year of hard work, Carrie decided she needed a break from the orders so she chose to take some time off. Soon after KK moved to Arkansas for college, the whole Hudson family also decided to pack up and move to Fayetteville.
After KK’s junior year of college, she chose to spend her summer in Fayetteville and start Mamaka Bowls back up. To KK’s surprise, the community was lining up outside her house every day that summer to purchase refreshing açaí bowls. KK and Carrie clearly saw the potential that the company had, so they chose to start the business back up as a team.
They decided to sign a lease and open up their very first store front in May of 2018.
After hearing about the growth of Mamaka, I wanted to know what the attraction was of packing up and moving to Waco.
The Hudsons are originally from Dallas, so they were ready to move things back to Texas. They did not want to move straight into Dallas just yet, and after visiting Waco they decided it seemed like a good fit for their second storefront.
“It feels random to a lot of people, but our big thing was that we wanted to be back in Texas,” KK said. “We went and visited Waco and it felt like a great fit for us. It kind of seems out of the blue but it seems like an amazing place and we have already gotten such an amazing response to going there so we are pumped about it.”
Since Waco does have other options to purchase açaí bowls, I asked KK what will set them apart from potential competition like Oh My Juice or Luna Juice Bar.
KK explained how one of the main factors that sets Mamaka Bowls apart from the others is their story— she told me that her and her mom never intended on opening up a business to make money, but that people were clearly going out of their way to get ahold of these açaí bowls when Carrie started making them for KK in high school. They decided to fully start the business up once they saw the potential and how people would do anything to get one of the bowls.
“We feel like we pour a lot of our heart and soul into this. We love our people. We treat our people like they are our family. They are literally what makes us different,” KK said.
In terms of the bowls themselves, the secret granola recipe is hand-made everyday. There is no sugar, yogurt, or dairy added to the açaí base itself, but all the bowls have a similar taste.
“They all taste like dessert,” KK said. “People come in and say they did not know what to expect and that it was just a basic food that was trending right now. Then they have one and say it was so good and they were so surprised.”
Some of their most popular bowls are the original Mamaka which is a strawberry, banana, mango, blueberry and almond milk base topped with strawberries, blueberries, bananas and granola. I personally am most excited to try the Tropical bowl, which is a pineapple, vanilla and banana base topped with banana, coconut shreds and granola. You can also add on any extra toppings you want, including extra fruit, honey, almond butter, spinach, or peanut butter for just an additional 50 cents.
So now the moment you have all been waiting for— when is this place actually going to open? The goal they are shooting for is the end of May or early June, so luckily for anyone staying in Waco this summer, you get an entire summer of eating these on 100 degree days. For everyone else, make sure to swing through the minute you get back to Waco after summer ends.