Soul Bowl Parramatta: The Story Behind Sydney's Favourite Smoothie Bowls
27 February, 2020
As the name denotes, “Soul Bowl” exudes nothing but soul. Simple, honest and authentic, it could not be more apparent that this place has been nurtured by an equally beautiful (yet bafflingly modest) soul, Lillie.
“I’m not going to let fear take hold, each time I’m scared I kept positive self-talking, I don’t know where it came from, but it worked”
Born and raised in Parramatta by a vegan, Armenian mother and a meat-eating Lebanese father, Lillie was eating vegan before the era of “fashionable” veganism and most certainly before the era of #vegan was trending on Instagram, Twitter and every other social media platform; eating a wholesome, varied and healthy is simply part of Lillie’s DNA. This genuine love
of good food combined with a shift in priorities when her children arrived, led her to trade in her career as a gemologist, grading diamonds on a daily basis, to turn her hand to starting her own business. A business that has now evidently become its very own little sparkling, unique diamond in the midst of Parramatta.
“I made a deal with myself, you are going to have your own business, you’re going to do school hours and no matter what, do not ever get tempted by the money”
It is evident that Lillie’s fierce love for her children has been the incredible driving force that has turned what was just an idea, into the Soul Bowl that we see before us today. Becoming a single mother, her two children, now aged 11 and 9, gave her the courage and unfaltering purpose to pursue a mission that most of us only ever vaguely daydream about; to push fear and self-doubt aside and to take the plunge into the unknown. Believing in the power of healthy, nourishing food having been exposed to such culinary inspiration growing up, Lillie believed it was important to instil these same values in her own children. It was with this that came the realisation of an apparent lack of eateries in Parramatta that could cater for this need and it was this very idea (and an added flourish of bold confidence) that Lillie attributes her success to. Most important of all is the freedom that comes with owning your business, allowing Lillie to spend precious time with her children. “One thing I said to myself is, I’m working school hours and I’m sticking to that”.
“I’m very fussy, I don’t just hire anyone”
Lillie has surrounded herself with a core team of equally dedicated and passionate staff - except ‘staff’ is definitely not the term of choice for Lillie. “They’re amazing, we are just best friends, we’ve all got each-others’ backs and are always laughing”. Hierarchy definitely isn’t a concept that exists here. Family, friends and love really are the driving force behind every aspect of this business. Soul Bowl has been approached by countless individuals desperate to franchise, but aside from the small Rosehill base that has now been open for 4 months, Lillie is more than content with her lot - money was never the goal. “My children come first, if I have to sacrifice them, then I won’t do it.”
With a menu board brimming with smoothie bowls, acai bowls, nicecream and wholebowls it is impossible to pin Lillie down to divulge a favourite and I don’t blame her. However, she did rather enviously admit that a single day has not passed by where she hasn’t consumed a bowl herself… I for one know I could happily consume the Snickers bowl daily: a healthy, yet decadent (there is an oxymoron if ever I heard one, but true nevertheless) blend of banana, cacao, peanut butter, dates and peanuts, artistically presented to perfection.
Lillie’s passion and joy for her business is infectious; she is living proof that what sometimes seems like the impossible, actually is possible when given enough love, faith and of course an undoubtably unique and equally special concept.
Soul Bowl Parramatta
MON TO FRI : 8AM - 4PM
SAT : 730AM - 330PM
4/2 Horwood Place, Parramatta