Would you like to support local journalism?

(with some quirky flair)

Regular News FEEDINGS via social + online. by locals for locals

HomeFoodBattle of the bowl: Açai recipe war becomes talk of town

Battle of the bowl: Açai recipe war becomes talk of town

There have been allegations of a pillage in Freshwater Village as two businesses lock horns over claims of a copied Açaí bowl menu.

Ella Rose (surname withheld) from Blessed Bowls has accused the owner of Mr Gelato, Matteo Dominici, of stealing their acai bowl menu.

Earlier this month Ms Rose put a sign on the front of her acai bowl shop citing foul play from Mr Dominici’s gelato store, located just down the road in Freshwater.

The sign outside of Blessed Bowls calling Mr Gelato out on copying their menu.

Since then, it’s been the talk of the town. Yesterday, when Manly Observer asked readers if it warranted an investigations, the response was a resounding “spill the tea!”

Within two hours of our post Channel 9’s A Current Affair had ambushed Mr Gelato for an interview, followed by stories on national website News.com.au, followed by Daily Mail et al.

Mr Dominici sat down for a debrief with Manly Observer Thursday afternoon, insisting that the resemblance was nothing more than a coincidence.

“I haven’t done anything wrong, that’s what I am feeling…everyone’s selling acai, everyone’s selling the same flavour as we sell it. I think they didn’t invent nothing special,” he said.

Originally, the two menus were almost identical in pricing, ingredients and names of acai bowls. But it has since been adjusted, slightly.

The ‘coco’ selection is now less similar.

Mr Gelato and Blessed Bowls side by side menu comparison
Before and after shot of Mr Gelato altered menu
Before and after shot of Mr Gelato’s altered menu

Ella Rose released a statement from Blessed Bowls today expressing her disdain for the situation.

“I started BB from my food truck on the northern beaches 4 years ago when I was just 18. Since then, I’ve worked hard and created a business with products and a menu I love,” she said.

“We never wanted to stop Mr G from selling acai or soft serve, but we had to draw the line at copying our menu almost word for word.”

Mr Dominici has disputed copying from his neighbouring store, expressing that he came across the recipes independently by simply Googling the acai bowl flavours.

“You can check online, if you go online on Google and you come up with the name of the acai, they come up like that – same ingredient… like if you Google brownie acai.

“I think it’s unfair. I think the way they do it to me, it’s they trying to put my business down in this way, the way they accuse me – I don’t think I copied anyone.”

Ms Rose declined an interview, but her comment responding to the Manly Observer’s Instagram post on the story expressed complete disbelief.

“Imagine two cafes in the same village with an identical menu copied and pasted and the exact same prices and names of menu items word by word.. At least put a twist on it!!”

Despite the controversy, Mr Dominici has said he will be making no further alterations to his menu as he stands by his innocence.

The Blessed Bowl team have called this a ‘serious offence’ and has told Manly Observer that the issue will be left with their legal team. Mr Gelato has also called his lawyer.

The battle of the bowl has begun.

Support quality local news

Manly Observer is an experiment in providing non-sensationalist hyperlocal news on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We cover the big news across the LGA, but with a hyper focus on the Manly electorate encompassing Balgowlah, Seaforth, Freshwater, Brookvale and Curl Curl up to Dee Why. It is run by those living in the community for the benefit of an informed community. We care about an informed and connected community. That’s it. Simple. Thank you for your support in keeping quality local news alive!

Kim Smee, Editor

Become a supporter