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Our Story
Our Story
Our Philosophy
   Backyard Bowls is the creation of two friends, Pete Heth and Dan Goddard.  We met our first year in the dorms at Santa Barbara, and have been close friends ever since.  After graduating college, both of us proceeded to get “real” jobs, and spent some time in the working world.  Not satisfied with our direction, we each decided that some serious change was in order.  Dan picked up and moved to the island of O’ahu, Hawaii, where he spent his days surfing and working in local restaurants.  Pete went on an extended voyage to a number of the far reaches of our globe, culminating in a few months living with Dan in Hawaii.  Aside from surfing, one of our favorite things about living on O’ahu was the acai bowls. 
For breakfast or lunch, before between or after surfing, there was absolutely nothing better than an acai bowl.
  It truly is an incredible meal- it fills you up, does not weigh you down, and gives you the energy and nutrition you need to flourish. 


   At the same time we were becoming increasingly interested in food.  A book called “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”, by Michael Pollan, instantly took the way we looked at food and turned it on its head.  This opened our eyes to where our food actually comes from, how it is produced, and the effect it is having not only on our health but on our planet as well.  The works of Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser and others cast an entirely new light on the western food systems, and ignited a passion in us to change how we eat.
   Backyards is the name of one of our favorite surfspots in Hawaii, where we surfed often while conceptualizing Backyard Bowls. Aside from that, we want our store to feel like you are in a backyard. Also, we want to treat you like you are a guest in our own backyard. And, we want as much of our food as possible to be from, well, our backyard. And we serve bowls. It was meant to be.
   We talked constantly about what to do with our lives. We agreed that we wanted to start a business. We wanted badly to work for ourselves, and to do something we were passionate about. But what? Finally, after months of bouncing ideas around, it came to us. More like it came and slapped us upside the head. The acai bowls! We’re going to bring them to Santa Barbara, and we’re going to do it our way.


   So the concept for Backyard Bowls was born.
We combined our passions- better food, good health, active lifestyles, the environment, and acai bowls. And why in Santa Barbara? Well, that is where we want to be. It is our favorite place in the world, and it is home to a culture that embraces the lifestyle we are trying to promote. And it needs acai bowls.
   We feel that many of the problems our society faces today are strongly correlated to the foods we eat. We’ve developed what’s referred to as the American Paradox: A notably unhealthy society that is absolutely obsessed with eating healthy. Obesity is officially an epidemic, diabetes is quickly becoming normal, and our diets are significantly inhibiting our ability to live long healthy lives, not to mention overburdening our healthcare system and terrorizing the environment. Meanwhile, Americans are consumed with the idea of eating healthy!


   Walk the aisles of your average American supermarket and you are completely surrounded by products that at first glance might seem so simple, but upon consulting the ingredients you will find dozens of monster words you couldn’t dream of pronouncing. Junk foods loaded with added chemicals, hydrogenated oils, and corn sweeteners are everywhere you look. Even the foods that seem so benign are filled with preservatives, chemicals, and probably high fructose corn syrup. And somehow every other product you look at has some health claim on it!


      At Backyard Bowls we believe that to eat healthy the first step is to get back to basics- Eat Real Food!










To provide a healthy, delicious, and fast alternative for breakfast or lunch,  and to do so while operating by the
most eco-friendly means possible and promoting
a more sustainable food culture. 


   If you follow that simple rule, you are well on your way to eating healthier. Before you look to the “nutrition facts” of your food, look at the ingredients- if you can understand them that is a good sign. Nutritional science is an interesting and sometimes rewarding subject to study, so long as you do not begin to believe that your food is just a series of numbers.


   Backyard Bowls serves real food. Our ingredients are simple, many of them are organic, and you will not find a single drop of high-fructose corn syrup in our store. We serve food that makes you feel good. Food that gives you the energy you need to make the most of your day.


   At Backyard Bowls we realize the extent to which people have the power to “vote with your fork”. When you buy organically grown produce, you are essentially casting a vote for that kind of food. Alternatively when you buy junk food, you are only promoting the production of that food. We like to think that when you eat at Backyard Bowls you are casting a vote for a more sustainable form of food, for your personal health and for the environment