LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce and members of the Livingston Township Council helped Mayor Shawn Klein cut the ribbon at Livingston’s new Frutta Bowls, recently franchised by two 22-year-old girls who are enthusiastic about bringing natural and nutritious bowls, smoothies and more to the community.
Morgan Mason of Cranford and Gionna Marotta of Caldwell, graduated together in May from Drew University, where they met founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Brooke Gagliano. Pat Gagliano, Brooke’s father, said she founded the company at 23 years old and has now sold more than 100 franchises—with the most recent locations in Livingston, Marlboro and Tuscaloosa, AZ.
“We’re moving pretty quick, they’re opening about one a month right now,” said Pat, who was at the ribbon cutting in Livingston. “We’re really exciting about this Livingston store because these two young entrepreneurs just graduated college and are thrown right into the real world and they’re doing a great job running the store so far. They’ve got a bright future. We’re very fortunate to have them as part of the Frutta Bowls team, and what we call the Frutta Bowls family.”
He said the business primarily owned by young entrepreneurs because his daughter is all about helping out young women like herself. In fact, the most recent franchise, located in Marlboro, is also owned by a 22-year-old girl, who Pat says is doing so well that she is in the process of opening up a second location.
Mason and Marotta began the process of opening the Livingston location about a year ago and have had an overwhelming amount of support from the Livingston community so far, they said.
“From what I’ve seen, especially with all of the parents coming in, they were like, ‘you have no idea how much we needed this here,’” said Marotta. “I think that it’s almost the places you wouldn’t expect that this would do so well in. We could have gone to a Morristown, we could have gone to a Short Hills, but doing this in such a close-knit community just made more sense.”
Marotta’s parents grew up in Livingston and her father owns the building where Frutta Bowls is now located, so she knew it would be a perfect location. By hiring about 40 young local kids to work at the store, the girls also hope to inspire others.
“Brooke taught us about leadership and discipline and I think that was really important,” said Mason. “When it came to figuring out what we were doing after college, it was almost a no brainer. We trusted her with this process and it was definitely a great decision.”
Councilman Al Anthony was enthusiastic about seeing more and more health and fitness ventures in town, stating that Livingston is a “smart community that knows the undeniable benefits of good nutrition and exercise in their lives.”
“This astute awareness coupled with the fact that the national trend of retail is geared more towards services than goods, especially businesses that offer food, exercise, and experiences that can complete well with the internet with the added benefit of carrying little inventory,” he said. “Our town council, Business Improvement District (BID) and chamber of commerce always welcome these and all businesses to Livingston, which provide varied choices to our residents and we wish them the best of luck."
Frutta Bowls is located at 142 South Livingston Avenue in Livingston. To learn more or to see the menu, click HERE.