While many local businesses have halted expansion efforts due to the pandemic, one build-your-own poke bowl restaurant is embracing growth and opening a new Oviedo location on August 24. Island Fin Poke, which was founded in Winter Springs in 2017, is opening its fourth local restaurant at 4250 Alafaya Trail.
The Oviedo location is being opened by Alessandra Carvalho, a long-time guest of the original Winter Springs location. Suffering from celiac disease, she struggled to find a restaurant that provided plenty of options for someone on a limited diet. Island Fin Poke’s healthy, high-protein menu helped her on her fitness journey where she lost 100 pounds. After two years of being a loyal supporter and eating at Island Fin Poke multiple times per week, she heard about the brand’s franchise opportunity and decided to open up a location of her own.
“Island Fin Poke played a significant role in my life over the last few years, and I am excited to be able to bring that same experience to the people in Oviedo,” said Carvalho. “The menu offers something for everyone and the food is delicious, locally sourced, and always fresh.”
With the help of her teenagers working at the restaurant, Carvalho plans to create a close-knit community at the Oviedo restaurant. The family business is currently hiring teens from local schools and is excited to welcome staff and guests into the Ohana, which is Hawaiian for family.
The Hawaiian-style restaurant provides guests with farm-to-fork, locally and responsibly sourced ingredients for each individual to create their own perfect poke bowl. With eight proteins, over 25 toppings, house-made sauces and specialty mix-ins, the endless possibilities allow guests to get creative and try something new every visit. In the restaurant’s comfortable themed beach-shack environment, Carvalho hopes to bring Oviedo residents straight to the tropics as they enjoy a fresh meal and delicious dole whip for dessert.
“Alessandra has always been a part of the ohana as a valued guest, and we are so proud to watch her take on this role as a local owner,” said co-founder Mark Setterington. “She and her family embody our restaurant’s values and we couldn’t be more excited to expand to Oviedo.”
The new location comes at a time when Island Fin Poké continues to rapidly expand its national footprint. In addition to its open restaurants, Island Fin Poke has 25 locations in various stages of development across the country.