Black Business Spotlight: Fruit Bowls

Photo by Ashley Lauren Fruit Bowls owner Stanford Walton

Local restaurant offers fruitful options

The mission of the Fruit Bowls fast food restaurant is to enhance the quality of life for others by introducing healthy food options. “To spread health, that’s really the mission,” said owner Stanford Walton of his restaurant located at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis. “Every day I’m striving to help someone with their health.”

Walton promotes self-care and would like to become a “spiritual teacher” one day.

Originally from Wisconsin, Walton explained that as a youth, he traveled back and forth from Ohio to Minnesota. “Basically, I’d say I’m from here [Minneapolis], been here all my life because I grew up out here,” said Walton. He added, “I went to Howe, Sanford and South High School.”

After Walton graduated from South High School in 2010, he enrolled at Rasmussen College to study game design. He attended Rasmussen for one year and chose to depart due to personal matters. “I had to stay focused on what I needed to do,” said Walton.

Years later, Walton focused on pursuing his dreams by launching a healthy, fresh fruit business. The local, independently owned Fruit Bowls restaurant was established in 2019.

Walton said that he was inspired to create his products by his friend and local chef “Sonny S.,” who is known for the signature pineapple bowls filled with “rice, chicken, cilantro, and pineapple—he’s gonna be at the Black Fair in August,” said Walton. He added, “I wanted to do something with him [Chef Sonny S.] on a Chipotle level.”

After Walton perfected his own fruit bowls, he launched the Fruit Bowls business. “April the 4 is when I started,” he said. Walton opened the restaurant at the Midtown Global Market (MGM).

Walton enjoys being his own boss. “I just wanted to work for myself,” he said. He gained inspiration to start a business from working jobs and his family. “My brother-in-law—he’s got his own trucking company.” As a result, Walton took the initiative to start his own fruit enterprise.

He added, “People I look up to helped guide how I want my life to be.” He said he is grateful to have the support.

Courtesy of Fruit Bowls

Before Walton decided to open his business at MGM, he spent time building his brand two years ago. He explained, “I started at a museum on East Lake Street.” He worked alongside a friend who was an artist. The event helped generate buzz and contributed to the popularity of the fruit bowls.

Customers who arrive at the Fruit Bowls restaurant can expect an array of fresh and healthy options. The popular fruit bowls incorporate a medley of watermelon, cantaloupe, and pineapple. The price range is $10-14.

Important to note, additional fruit can be added at a minimal cost. There’s a tasty variety of options to choose from fresh apples, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, strawberries, kiwi, mango, oranges, peaches, and raspberries.

The restaurant offers more than fruit bowls. Customers are encouraged to try the fruit kabobs, fruit cups, ice cream, smoothies, fruit, and yogurt parfaits. Customers can expect to pay $5-$8.

Patrons can also request a scoop of creamy and decadent vanilla ice cream with their fruit bowl or fruit cup. Walton aspires to expand the fruit selection and plans on offering protein shakes in the near future.

Due to expedient success, Walton has plans to expand. “This summer, we’re about to get a food truck and hopefully we’ll get one more place.” Also, one of Walton’s friend inquired about launching another restaurant in Arizona.

Although business is booming, owning and operating a business is hard work. Walton expressed that it takes dedication. “Some think it takes money—that’s so far from the truth.” He utilized all of his personal capital to launch the business and essentially bring forth his dream into fruition.

Walton added, “I’m very spiritual. I’m more of a meditation, chakra alignment, make sure my oneness is Ok. I love myself; I’m gonna make sure I’m Ok.” As a business owner, he tries to stay balanced and aspires to help others do the same.

He added, “People will try to bring you down—but you gotta love yourself. Your chakras have to be aligned. If you don’t know that much about it, we think life is life but it has a lot to do with energy.”

Walton hopes to spread positive vibes in the community by creating healthy products, especially since many reside in a food desert with a lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Overall, Walton hopes to uplift individuals through his business. “I want to be the person that can inspire the next young Black man so he can see that I came from the same spot they did and get out of it,” said Walton.

Walton also shared advice for youth: “Never ever give up and don’t think that it’s over.

“Because I played football—I was about to go D1 until I broke my ankle and couldn’t.”

He added, “Anything you’re good at, get paid for it.”

Fruit Bowls restaurant is located at 920 E. Lake St. in Minneapolis. Business hours are Friday-Sunday, from 11 am to 7 pm. For more info, visit Facebook/Fruit bowls fast food restaurant.