BŌL offers healthy bowls, smoothies made from whole, natural ingredients
WAKEFIELD – After months of anticipation, Wakefield residents were finally able to dig into one of BŌL Owner Alix Tillett’s beautiful superfood creations this past Friday.
All made from rich, natural ingredients, these Açaí bowls range from an astonishing display of colors like indigo and gold, or fuchsia and midnight. These bowls not only look and taste good, Tillett said, but they’ll make you feel good too.
“It’s been my way of sharing with the world how you can heal through what you eat,” Tillett said. “I’m so particular about how my bowls and smoothies come out, how the menus are designed and the colors. I just want it to be a gift from me to you – because I feel like learning to heal yourself on your own, holistically, through what you eat is such a gift to people.”
BŌL first opened its doors five years ago as a small hole-in-the-wall shop in Wellfleet, Cape Cod. Tillett said her artfully designed creations were born out of her own journey of healing from chronic Lyme disease, during which she learned how food can shift the body’s ability to move, think and feel.
Two years into a Master’s degree program in nursing, Tillett learned she had Lyme in her brain, heart and spinal cord that had gone undiagnosed for about a decade. Due to the severity of her condition, Tillet had to drop out of school and focus on her health full time. She quickly went into survival mode and began taking medication around the clock, she said, forgetting to give back to her own body.
“I’ve always eaten healthy and been active, but there came a point where I got so sick, that sometimes I think you get so sick with your own illness, your own disease, you kind of just don’t care…you’re kind of stuck,” she said. “I was stuck on 95 pills a day for three years. You get stuck in it. No one is telling you to eat healthy or go to yoga and move your body.”
At her worst, Tillett had gone almost completely blind in her right eye and was unable to walk in a straight line. It took a long time for her to be able to do anything in yoga class, but her brother encouraged Tillett to come back to her mat and move her body again. Some days, she said she would just lay there, unable to do much of anything. Others, after beginning to eat healthy, whole foods, she was able to push herself again.
“After five years of being on antibiotics, I just changed everything,” Tillett said.
“I just slowly felt like, ‘Wow, this is working, I’m breathing again, my head’s clear,’” she continued. “It just kind of snowballed from there. When you start to move your body and you start to put nothing in your body but pure food, you see a change so fast. The slightest little change when you’re that sick, you get hooked on it because you’re desperate.”
She hopes her cafe will not only be a place where people come for coffee and smoothies, and but a meaningful place where people can come together and work toward holistic health.
“I want it to be more meaningful because that’s why I started this,” Tillett said. “I didn’t just want a coffee place. I want you to be greeted and loved, and feel good when you leave.”
Though the cafe, located at 318 Main St., has only been open for the better part of a week, Tillett has already seen lots of foot traffic and great reviews from members of the community. Sitting on the corner of Main and Robinson Streets and housed in the former Glass Station, Tillett has a perfect downtown location.
None of this would be possible, she said, without the support and efforts of the space’s owner, Wayne Cahoon, who agreed to lease her the space.
“I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be in this building,” Tillett said. “Wayne Cahoon has been an incredible person in my life here for giving me this chance. This building is his baby, and he took a chance on me.”
Cahoon and his family were Tillet’s first customers on Friday morning.
Although Cahoon admitted that he’s been hesitant to meet with Tillett originally, worried that her shop may be a trendy cafe that would soon come and go, he was blown away by her menu. From the start, the two connected and shared the same vision of what the space could be.
“It’s phenomenal,” Cahoon said. “I couldn’t be happier. I think she’s going to great here. It’s a nice option for the town. There’s nothing like it here – probably not in all of South County.”
“Other people might have an acai bowl,” Cahoon added, “but not to the extent that she’s got them to. It’s just nice, healthy options.”
Having grown up in a silkscreen factory, Tillett has always lived colorfully. Her menu is no different.
“I always say the blender is kind of like my paint bucket,” Tillett said. “It’s been so much fun. I still think about going back to nursing school, but at the end of the day, this has been far more touching to my heart to be able to heal people this way.”
“The most important thing is that there’s meaning behind what I do,” she added.