Small Business Spotlight: Kona Bowls

"With the funding we received from CEF, we were able to secure our dream of a stand alone brick-and-mortar location in Golden, CO."
– Alissa Mattson, Owner of Kona Bowls
Golden, CO | Owner: Alissa Mattson
Food and Beverage Services Business

Q&A with Owner, Alissa Mattson 

Give a high level overview of your business. What products or services you offer, where you're located, etc.
Kona Bowls is a family owned superfood cafe in Downtown Golden, CO specializing in nutritious superfoods the whole family will love! Our goal is to elevate the collective wellness in our community through superfoods and good moods, including acai bowls, poke bowls, fresh juice, Buddha salads, and more. Our concept is a colorful and fun representation of the Hawaii beach life we brought to Colorado after living and raising our family on Big Island, HI for six+ years. Our dream is to bring aloha, health, happiness, and bold spirits to others via our delicious, super nutritious, island-inspired bowls!

How did the idea for your business come about?
As our family transitioned our life from Hawaii to Colorado, I dedicated one day a week to sit on the beach and envision the space and concept for Kona Bowls. The fresh, clean, healthy foods of the island inspired our menu, with a specific focus on creating a happy and healthy community.

Describe your typical customer and what you love about your customers.
Our typical customer varies from local Goldenites seeking a healthy lifestyle to those visiting Golden, CO and looking for healthy eats pre or post workout, hike, bike, tubing, etc. We are always so happy to host these faces on a regular basis and offer guests a healthy and refreshing summer meal.

What led your business to seek out new/additional funding?
Kona Bowls started small. We self funded a startup in a food hall and worked hard to innovate and thrive during covid shutdowns. When restrictions lifted, our efforts were fruitful as we quickly outgrew our small space and secured our dream of a stand alone brick and mortar location in Golden, CO.

How did you find out about CEF?
The beauty of customer service is that you get to touch the lives of many people, and in return they touch our lives as well. One of our regular customers at Kona Bowls had shared that he was an SBA Loan Officer, so I reached out to him, and he put me in touch with Colorado Enterprise Fund!

What was your experience like in working with CEF?
CEF was flexible to our many changes as we moved into a new business model and location. We encountered challenged along the way with landlords and building in a post covid world where construction costs were rapidly multiplying. We were so pleased with the flexible funding from CEF.

What were you able to do with the funding you received from CEF?
CEF funded Kona Bowls' building process in a new brick and mortar location. We used funds to pay for materials, contractors, and working capital as we started the first year of business.

What's on the horizon for you and your small business?

We have had a successful start at our Golden, CO location and are looking to expand the concept to more markets. Let's spread health and happiness far and wide!

What recent success(es) have you experienced in your business?
We were able to hire a salaried store manager in Q4 of our first year! This will allow us to continue focusing our efforts forward growing our business and creating smart systems without being bogged down with the day to day details of running a small business.


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