Palmetto Superfoods brings delicious açaí to Town and Country


Newly opened restaurant at Town and Country Village, Palmettos Superfoods, boasts fully customizable açaí bowls and fruit smoothies. Palmettos offers a wide variety of delicious choices. According to CEO Charles Lee, Palmettos has been a hit among customers and students at Palo Alto High School. “I think everyone’s been liking it,” Lee said. “It’s a great addition, especially because you guys [students at Paly] haven’t had that here.” (Photo: Celina Lee)

Celina Lee and Leena Hussein

Imagine biting into a spoonful of fresh, creamy açaí blended with ripe berries and topped with a vibrant array of crunchy granola sprinkled with natural agave. This is a taste of a classic açaí bowl at Palmetto Superfoods, Palo Alto’s latest restaurant hotspot.

Located at Town and Country, between Sushi House and Roost & Roast, Palmetto Superfoods opened in April and offers customizable açaí bowls and smoothies, providing an additional lunchtime option for Palo Alto High School Students.

Students are able to order a signature açaí bowl or create their own bowl starting from the base. As with the other five Palmetto locations in the Bay Area, the T&C Palmettos offers Açaí, Passionate Mango, Tropical Spirulina, Japanese Matchacado, Chia Pudding and Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats for the base, and students can top off their bowl with three different protein options, four granola options, and a multitude of various fruits, nuts and sweeteners. The açaí bowls are priced between $8.45 to $15.45 for sizes small to large, and smoothies are all $9.75.

According to Palmetto CEO Charles Lee, what differentiates Palmettos from other restaurants and açaí bowl places is the emphasis put on creating high quality açaí.

“We really focus on our ingredients [and] our açaí,” Lee said. “It’s the highest quantity of açaí potency you can get. Açaí is a very tart fruit when you just have it raw. So what we do is add strawberries, some bananas and blueberries conservatively but it’s enough to sweeten the açaí […] and it really helps the açaí flavor pop out.”

Lee said health is also a major component in deciding Palmetto’s ingredients.

“Other places love to do açaí and sugar, but then you’re negating the whole health factor,” Lee said. “We really focus on lowering the sugar count by making our açaí as naturally sweetened as possible. Every single thing we have done has some kind of health benefactor to it. They [The bases] have Zinc and Vitamin C …. [and] we found this new protein called brown rice protein. It has more protein and it’s a little more digestible … We really want to pave the way of what the future of food is going to be.”

According to Lee, he started in the electronic commerce industry working primarily with sneakers. In 2015, Lee decided to transfer to the food industry after encountering an açaí dish at a Brazilian restaurant called Cafe de Casa run by Thaís and Amanda Moreira. They worked together to create Palmettos with an emphasis on authentic and healthy superfoods.

“We have this bizarre story,” Lee said. “I’m a San Francisco native working with two Brazilian sisters that came to America 10 years ago. When I think about this concept, we’re really building it for you guys [students] and kids.”

According to Lee, the Palmettos team is always working to be more price-conscious and make their menu more affordable.

“That [prices] is one of the things we want to be self-conscious of,” Lee said. “That’s why we created that small [bowl size]. We wanted to keep it under $9 and we’re also always working on pricing. So our goal is to keep bringing it [prices] down, even as we keep growing and trying to control our supply chain. Our goal is to get the small bowl to $8. Then from there, we’re going to get it from $7.50 [and] just keep bringing it down.”

Lee started Palmettos Superfoods back in 2019 and has quickly garnered traction from Bay Area locals. According to Lee, he hopes that Palmettos will continue to expand and revolutionize the food industry around the Bay Area.

“We’re one of the first to do the self-ordering kiosk you see at all our locations,” Lee said. “This [the Town and Country location] is our fifth location. We feel pretty happy where we are, and how we are kind of positioning all over the Bay Area. Obviously, Town and Country Village is probably one of the popular spots in Palo Alto, if not the best, and then downtown Burlingame, Santana Row, and San Francisco.”

Lee said he hopes to grow from restaurants into larger stores and create partnerships with other brands as well.

“I also get a lot of requests from Hawaiian restaurants, and they would love to have açaí in their programs, and obviously we want to be in grocery stores too,” Lee said. “We want to be a little bit everywhere and create this 360 brand.”

According to Lee, Palmettos will continue to improve through testing flavors and combinations.

“I think our quality speaks for itself,” Lee said. “We are always researching and developing our flavors. We are health-conscious first, but also flavor-wise, quality needs to be there.”