Andrew Agee, franchise owner of the North Cornwall Commons Oola Bowls, holds a few of the tasty menu items. (Provided photo)

A local Oola Bowls eatery is already eyeing expansion possibilities after opening this spring.

“Oola Bowls are nutritious, and our restaurant has been well received,” said Andrew Agee, owner of the Oola Bowls franchise in North Cornwall Commons.

The 2,086-square-foot restaurant at 111 Springwood Drive, Suite 100, features a drive-thru, seating for 25 indoors and an outdoor patio that seats 25. It had a soft opening April 15 and a grand opening May 13.

“This is a great location. We get foot traffic from the nearby homes, businesses and hotels. Plus we’re across from the Lebanon Valley Expo Center. The rail trail is nearby, and we’re not too far from the Lebanon VA Medical Center and Cedar Crest High School,” Agee said.

When he was looking at locations for the franchise, he was also considering a location along Route 72, but it could not accommodate a drive-thru. “The drive-thru was important,” he said adding that about 60% of the restaurant’s customers have used the lobby, while 40% use the drive-thru.

Agee, who considers Lebanon his hometown, credits his girlfriend for introducing him to Oola Bowls, an acai berry bowl, smoothie and coffee cafe.

“I had my first one (Oola Bowl) at Hersheypark about two years ago. My girlfriend urged me to try it. I’ve found that, in general, a lot of men aren’t sure what acai is, but when they try an Oola Bowl they like it. When people ask me what an Oola Bowl is, I liken it to a PB& J (peanut butter and jelly),” he explained.

Acai is a dark purple berry from the acai palm tree, which is native to Central and South America.

A ‘What the Flax’ Bowl from Oola Bowls in North Cornwall Commons. (Oola Bowls Facebook page)

“Our co-founders Joe Ferderbar and Brock Snider have often said when they opened Oola Bowls they had their sales pitch in their pockets; they had to educate people about the product. Once you get people to try it, and they have a great experience, they come back,” added Phil Dobinson, Oola Bowls president of franchise operations.

Agee said the top seller at the North Cornwall Commons location is the signature Oola Bowl — organic açaí, peanut butter, Grandma’s Granola, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, chia, honey, coconut. Granola is made in-house every Wednesday using the recipe developed by the grandmother of one of the Oola Bowl founders.

Dobinson said the North Cornwall Commons location is the first franchise location with a drive-thru and Oola Bowls would like to grow that model (a location with both a drive-thru and a patio).

“We can get bowls out in three- to four-minutes — that’s unheard of in the acai bowl industry. We’ve done some research and found that 10- to 15-minutes is average in the industry,’ he said, “We hope the easier in and out of a drive-thru will encourage more people to try Oola Bowls. Part of our core values is customer experience; we want customers to have a great interaction with our team members.”

One of Oola Bowls’ locations is a 5-foot x 10-foot stand at Lancaster’s Central Market. “We’re one of about 100 vendors. People shop at the market for grocery items {produce, meats, poultry, fish, bread, cheese, ethnic food}, so they often don’t have time to wait for food such as acai bowls to be prepared, which is why our quick turn-around is important,” Dobinson said.

Ferderbar and Snider launched Oola Bowls with a food truck in 2018, followed six months later by the Central Market stand. Based in Lancaster, Oola Bowls has grown to include two seasonal locations at Hersheypark, a stand a Fairgrounds Farmers Market in Reading, the Market at Wilbur in Lititz, a location in Intercourse that was the first franchise, and a location on Fruitville Pike in Manheim Township (Lancaster County) with a drive-thru.

Dobinson said the five-year goal is to have 50 Oola Bowl locations including additional locations in Lebanon County, which he said is “one of the fastest growing areas of the country.” With the North Cornwall Commons location up and running, Agee’s considering a second Oola Bowls location in the Lebanon-area.

Oola Bowls recently announced a new location is in the works for Lancaster’s Shops at Rockvale. Dobinson said the company has inked a deal with a franchisee for a King of Prussia and a Pottsville location.

“We want to find the right franchise owners; people who share our core values and our passion for healthy living,” Dobinson said.

He added that a potential franchisee is interested in bringing a franchise to Elizabethtown and another potential franchisee is interested in opening five locations in Georgia.

For more information on Oola Bowls, its menu, locations and hours, visit

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Rochelle A. Shenk is a writer with over two decades experience. Her work appears in regional business publications and lifestyle magazines as well as area newspapers. She writes about business and municipal sectors as well as arts and entertainment, human interest features, and travel and tourism. Rochelle...


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