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Uncommon Oregonians: The Superfood Boss

Jessica Hufford, Owner of Vitality Bowls in Eugene
Member Since: 2018
Favorite Branch: Downtown Eugene Branch

Growing up in Sweet Home, Jessica Hufford always knew she wanted to open her own business. She planned to open a pizzeria of her own since she’d spent years working for and managing pizzerias.

But a pizzeria wasn’t in the cards. “I developed a food intolerance to dairy while I was in school, so pizza wasn’t going to work,” she says.

Jessica did lots of research about nutrition and food systems once she figured out that she couldn’t eat dairy. “There’s not a lot that I can eat in most fast-casual or fast food places,” she notes.

But she was also thinking about her future business. A strong background in foodservice meant that Jessica was still thinking about opening a restaurant—one that could accommodate people like her with food allergies or sensitivities.

Vitality Bowls impressed Jessica when she and her mother visited a location on a trip to California. “I really liked their focus on an antioxidant-rich menu, so I kept them in mind for after I finished school,” Jessica shares.

After getting her degree in Business Management, Jessica decided to open a Vitality Bowls franchise. She loved their food and appreciated their story: Vitality Bowls began after a couple couldn’t find healthy, safe food for their child with severe food allergies.

Vitality Bowls offers a menu featuring açaí bowls, smoothies, sandwiches, and more. Their menu has an antioxidant-rich and superfood focus with something for everybody.

“A lot of our things are made fresh to order, so we can make adjustments for different dietary needs,” Jessica says proudly. “We’re an allergy-safe kitchen and we train our employees on allergies so they’re knowledgeable about which bowls contain which foods so we can keep customers safe.”

Jessica with a smoothie in front of her Vitality Bowls franchise

Jessica felt the franchise would give her the chance to own a business while letting her focus on the aspects she enjoyed. She shares: “There was a lot of support from the franchise. I didn’t have to worry about creating a full menu or design; I could focus more on community involvement and networking, which are my favorite parts.”

When it was time to find a home for her business’ finances, she came to Northwest Community Credit Union. “I’m a firm believer that credit unions are better than banks,” Jessica says. “I checked out six different banks before we opened and I liked Northwest Community Credit Union the best. Talking to Heather [at the Downtown Eugene branch] was great.”

“I really love the employees, I loved the structure of the accounts, everything seems so straightforward,” she shares. “The customer service is great! Everybody welcomed me in and was excited about my business! Every time I’d come in, they’d ask me how it’s going.”

Business owners like Jessica are working hard on their dreams, and Northwest Community Credit Union is proud to serve and support them!