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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

    Bondi Bowls to join Snider Plaza in January

    The company’s founder Bailey Wilson talks career, challenges and new beginnings
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    Davis Sinnott
    Bondi Bowls’ newest storefront will open in Dallas’ Snider Plaza this January.

    When her father was in the hospital with cancer, Bailey Wilson wanted to make sure he felt comfortable and was eating the best food he could.

    She had learned to make acai bowls while living in Australia after graduating college and prepared them with peanut butter and granola to fuel her father with the best ingredients.

    “It wasn’t in my plans to open up a food truck, specifically a smoothie bowl food truck, but the Lord kind of took it from there,” said Wilson.

    Today, she’s using those same recipes at her Bondi Bowls food trucks and storefronts across the southern U.S., with a new location opening in Dallas’ Snider Plaza on Jan. 20.

    She opened her first food truck in June 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. She had left Australia because she needed to help take care of her father, and she jumped on one of the last flights out before lockdowns began. She was planning on being a sales representative, but no one was hiring in March 2020. That was when Wilson’s job plans took a turn.

    “I was depressed. I was angry at God,” she said. “I didn’t want to be here. I wanted to be in Australia. One day my mom pitched the idea: get a food truck, serve the community, get out of the house and stop being so depressed.”

    Wilson’s brand is built on her love of Bondi Beach, the trendy hotspot in Sydney, Australia. It was there that she learned about smoothie bowls and how they are made. These bowls include some sort of fruit base layer like açai or coconut, followed by granola, then other fruits and toppings like honey or chia seeds.

    “I lived right on Bondi Road and across the street was this place called Fruitologist that had açai bowls. My roommate and I would go every single morning for breakfast” Wilson said. “So when I got home I knew the local recipes and was just obsessed with it.”

    When Wilson came back home to Oklahoma in 2020, she was able to bring that piece of Australia to her family.

    Five months after opening her first food truck, Wilson expanded her business and started to offer the opportunity for people to license food trucks with her Bondi Bowl brand.

    Caitlin Crockett was the first to take her up on that offer. She had known Wilson and Bondi Bowls since the very beginning of the business. Crockett was with Wilson as the brand started growing and helped to expand the company to Fort Worth, where Crockett’s food truck is now.

    “[Wilson] does a great job of making the message clear and having that infectious personality and being able to get people to join in on what she is creating,” Crockett said.

    Throughout 2021, Wilson bought more food trucks and hired others to manage those trucks. She also hired people to help her on a corporate level as the brand began to grow rapidly.

    Parker Elledge, Bondi Bowls’ operational manager, has worked very closely with Wilson over the past year. Wilson has become a mentor to her, she said.

    “She has helped me become more confident in a lot of my skills, and she has helped give me direction too,” Elledge said. “So I think she does a wonderful job about seeing people on a personal level, but also a professional level and helping them get to their next steps.”

    Wilson’s business is built on her original food truck model, but she’s trying to make the switch to storefronts because it is difficult to keep staff for the trucks, she said.

    “There’s just such a high burnout, and a lot of [licensed] owners are either trying to sell after two years or get out of the business completely after three or four,” Wilson said.

    In addition to the new storefront in Dallas, Wilson has two others in Edmond, Oklahoma, and one in Daphne, Alabama. The rest of her business comes from the food trucks in five different states.

    “A truck is always moving, so it is never at a certain location to where people can find you every time, they have to go online and find it, whereas the store, it’s always here,” said Josh Nelsen, co-owner of the Daphne storefront and an Alabama food truck.

    Wilson said she has created a large community not only within the Bondi Bowls brand but also with her customers and supporters. She said a food truck owner may just last a few years with the business, but brick-and-mortar storefronts can last forever.

    The grand opening will take place on Jan. 20. Courtesy of Bailey Wilson.

    “My storefront will be year-round,” Wilson said. “It’s more community-driven. We’ll do days with the sororities or give back to the fire department, things like that. With a food truck, it’s a bit harder to organize.”

    Building a storefront in Snider Plaza, she said, opens her business up to a variety of customers because it is so close to the high-income Highland Park community and SMU’s campus.

    “I love being next to SMU,” Wilson said. “I love college students. I love high school students. So also being by Highland Park, the fact that it’s a space where there is a lot of income…even though it’s going to cost me more money upfront, I think in the long term, it will be a smarter game plan.”

    Smoothie lovers can join Wilson at the grand opening of the Snider Plaza Bondi Bowls location grand opening on Jan. 20.

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