Açaí bowl and smoothie bar Deep Purpl, founded by Loyola alumnus Gabriel Fleury, plans to open a location (1137 W. Sheridan Rd.) near Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus May 1.
Customers can choose from 8, 12, 16 and 20-ounce bowls with unlimited toppings. Toppings include gluten-free granola, almond butter, bananas, blueberries, cacao nibs and goji berries. However, while they’re called bowls, the containers look more like layered parfait cups.
Bowls range from $6.95 to $13.95. Regular smoothies range from $6.99 to $7.95 and protein smoothies range from $8.45 to $8.95.
The new location will only be a few minutes away from the café Rollin’ and Bowlin’, located in Damen Student Center. Rollin’ and Bowlin’ offers açaí bowls, smoothies, avocado toast and cold brew.
Founder and owner of Deep Purpl, Gabriel Fleury, opened the store’s first location in the West Loop in January 2020. He earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Loyola in 2018 and 2020, respectively.
“I came to Chicago and was used to eating açaí,” Fleury said. “I couldn’t find any good options. So I did my research, learned a few things and saw there was a chance for opening something here.”
First-year Eliana Wills said she’s excited for the new location because it’s next door to her classes in the Ralph Arnold Fine Arts Annex.
“It’ll be nice to stop in there after class instead of having to walk all the way to Damen,” Wills, 19, said between bites of a bowl from Rollin’ and Bowlin’.
Wills said she likes açaí bowls because of her dairy-free diet and her dislike for dining hall fruit options.
“Living in the dorms, I don’t really get a lot of fresh fruit,” she said. But with açaí bowls, “it’s nice that it’s a healthy, filling and dairy-free meal.”
Fleury said growing up in São Paulo, Brazil inspired Deep Purpl’s emphasis on health.
“It’s a very tropical country, all year long,” he said. “Every time you finish exercising or playing sports, you get açaí. They’re very health-conscious back there.”
Sourcing ingredients directly from Brazil is also important for the business’s mission, Fleury said.
Fleury said he’s currently working with Loyola to let students pay with dining dollars and to hold promotions during basketball games.
The Rogers Park location will be the seventh Deep Purpl in Chicago. The other six are in Evanston, Hyde Park, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Millennium Park and the West Loop. The company said it plans to open more locations in San Francisco and Austin, Texas.
“It’s the seventh location, but it’s going to be the most special one because I went to Loyola,” Fleury said. “It’s very cool to open a business where you went to college.”
Deep Purpl will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.