There are few things that Miami Dolphins defensive back Elijah Campbell and his wife Anisse enjoyed more while living in Elijah’s native Minnesota area than relaxing at their neighborhood Nautical Bowls while eating healthy and all-natural ingredient acai bowl treats. But that became a thing of the past when his career took him to south Florida in 2021 to play for a new franchise. Unable to locate a suitable facsimile to the concept, the couple found themselves experimenting with their own formulas before ultimately deciding to become a franchise owner of the national concept. They selected The Esplanade Shoppes in Marco Island as their first location of three projected stores in the region and expect to open later this year.

The couple recently signed a lease with Continental Realty Corporation (CRC), a Baltimore-based real estate investment and management company, for space at the 51,000 square foot retail center located at 760 N. Collier Boulevard. Kelsi Holman, Commercial Leasing Manager for CRC, and Rob Carroll of IPC Naples represented the landlord, and Ty Hensley of Trinity Commercial Group represented the tenant in this lease transaction. The asset is now 100 percent leased.

“As a professional athlete, I need to be extremely vigilant about eating food comprised of all-natural and healthy ingredients, and my wife and I follow this philosophy with our entire family,” explains Elijah Campbell. “We have tried an assortment of acai bowl recipes, and have also tried to invent our own, but nothing comes remotely close to the texture and flavor profile of the Nautical Bowls product line. We were regular customers of the franchise in Minnesota, where the company is based and, after moving to south Florida, we considered opening a store using our own formulas.

“But after receiving some sound advice, we were directed to the franchise model to leverage all the amazing processes, support and menu items offered by Nautical Bowls,” he adds. “It was absolutely the correct decision. In addition to having the smoothest tasting product in the category, Nautical Bowls differentiates itself by its customer service and welcoming environment. It is not long before the servers recognize you and call you by your first name. We wanted to be part of this culture.”

Founded by the husband-and-wife duo of Rachel and Bryant Anderson, Nautical Bowls has grown to nearly 60 locations, including four in Florida. The bowls are custom-made, beginning with a choice of six different bases including acai, coconut, mango, and chia pudding. Following the addition of honey oak granola, customers have their choice of bananas, strawberries, or blueberries, as well as dry toppings, drizzles, and peanut butter protein crumbles. All ingredients are plant-based and free of gluten, dairy, and soy ingredients.

“It was important to find the absolutely perfect location for our inaugural store,” Campbell says. “We surveyed many different centers, but once we laid our eyes on The Esplanade Shoppes, with its position along the water and its nautical theme, we knew immediately this was the right choice. The upscale nature of the center truly represents our brand. My wife and I also find synergy, and are energized, in knowing that an entrepreneurial couple founded the concept.”

Becoming an active participant in the community is important to the family and is something the family intends to do, according to Anisse Campbell. “The Marco Island community is extremely tight knit and we will explore ways to make a positive difference, and become involved with important causes that impact local residents,” she said. “We feel strongly about this and it is the right thing to do.”

The Esplanade Shoppes is a coastal, Italian-style village comprised of upscale retailers, small specialty stores and boutiques, offices, and fine dining and fast casual restaurant options. The project also includes 72 multi-family waterfront residences and a marina. Restaurants and eateries include CJ’s Restaurant & Bar, Deep Lagoon Seafood & Oyster House, Mango’s Dockside Bistro, and Cold Stone Creamery. Featured retailers are Butterfly Beach, Ocean Soul Jewelry, Yara’s Shoe Boutique, and The Curated Crab.

More than 1.3 million people visit Marco Island on an annual basis. Nearly 20,000 people, including more than 9,500 households, reside within a five-mile radius of the The Esplanade Shoppes, with the average household income approaching $100,000.

“Nautical Bowls is an extremely well-operated franchise and represents a tremendous addition to the tenant mix,” says Kristina O’Keefe, CRC’s Vice President, Commercial Division. “The fast-growing franchise will offer the community healthy options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and compliment the active lifestyle of people who reside in or visit Marco Island. As consumers continue to become aware of nutritious habits and what they consume, we believe Nautical Bowls will become a strong and consistent traffic generator to The Esplanade Shoppes.”

Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland and founded in 1960, Continental Realty Corporation is a full-service commercial real estate and investment company focused on acquiring and operating retail and multifamily properties. The privately held firm owns and manages a diversified portfolio of retail centers consisting of nearly eight million square feet of commercial space and over 9,000 apartment homes across 10 states, with a portfolio value exceeding $3.6 billion.

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