Brady Hollingsworth, a sophomore studying biology from California, returned home from his mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in March to help run a small catering company started by his older brother, Colby Hollingsworth, a recent BYU–Hawaii alumnus.
Colby Hollingsworth, Brady’s older brother, served his Latter-day Saint mission in Brazil. Brady explained how his older brother was obsessed with everything Brazilian. “He would always talk about how the acai sold here is nothing in comparison to the acai in Brazil.” Colby and his wife, Amber, started The Little Acai Cart in Jan. 2018. The cart began as a project for one of Colby’s business classes.
When Brady returned home from his mission in March, he began working with his brother and began to understand how the catering company works.
The Little Acai Cart caters to weddings, birthdays, fundraisers and pretty much any event possible. Brady said, “Right now, we are averaging about two catering jobs per month. Some months there are three events; some months there is only one event. It just kind of depends on the month and what we have going on.”
Ever since Colby graduated and left the island in May, Brady has been running the business by himself. “Before every event, I still call my brother and talk with him about what needs to get done, and we talk about the business a lot.”
Brady explained sometimes the business can be a little intense because there is a lot of pressure for him to make sure everything goes right. “When I am doing important events for people, like their wedding reception or first birthday party, there is a lot of pressure on me because I want to make sure everything is going smoothly.” Brady said so far The Little Acai Cart has had zero complaints about the service and the way things are working out.
What do you serve?
The Little Acai Cart currently only serves two flavors- the Peanut Butter Bowl and the Tropical Bowl. The Peanut Butter Bowl consists of pure Brazilian acai, peanut butter drizzle, fresh sliced bananas, mini peanut butter cups, homemade granola, organic toasted coconut flakes, and drizzled honey. The Tropical Bowl consists of pure Brazilian acai, fresh sliced bananas, strawberries, pineapple, homemade granola, organic toasted coconut flakes, drizzled honey, and lilikoi sauce.
Brady said, “My brother and his wife started this company because everyone has been on a ‘health’ kick lately- when you go to a lot of events, there are cookies and doughnuts, but with acai bowls, there is a healthy option. The nice thing about the acai bowl is it gives you that sweet taste but you don’t have to feel bad about going back for seconds.” Brady continued to say, “My brother said that the acai sorbet we get is the closest thing to the acai in Brazil.”
How do you plan it out?
Brady explained when sitting down with customers, he plans out how many people will attend the event. He then pre-orders the acai sorbet packages and gets them from the vendor he knows, counts out the amount of fresh fruit needed, makes the homemade granola and preps for the event. “Usually, the planning period is a pretty intense two to three day process. I plan a few days in advance before the event and make sure everything is set up.”
Does The Little Acai Cart have any workers?
Brady said he usually has 3-5 workers per event. The amount of workers per event depends on the size of the event and whether or not the hosts have asked for additional workers. “Usually at events, we get a huge line of guests. A lot of people like to watch us design the bowls too because it is pretty difficult to learn and a lot of people find it interesting. Plus, when there are a lot of guests, a couple of additional workers helps speed up the process.”
Brady said he usually hires close friends. His sister, Evie Hollingsworth is going to school at BYUH so she helps out at a lot of events. Kekoa Jensen, a sophomore from California majoring in political science, also works for him.
Jensen said, “Working at The Little Acai Cart has been a great experience for me. I help out when I am needed at events. Working with young entrepreneurs can be hard sometimes, but this company works really hard to be family oriented and to be simple.” Jensen expressed he is very grateful to be able to help out and work at this company, because it is obvious the Hollingsworth’s are really passionate about this little company. “Working with them has been really refreshing.”
Evie, a freshman from California majoring in hospitality and tourism management, said, “Working here is the real deal. I enjoy it, and it has been a lot of fun being able to work with my older brother and watch him run this business.”
How do you balance a business and school?
Along with running this catering business, Brady is also a surf instructor at Turtle Bay and a full-time student. Brady explained getting the hang of things was a little daunting at first, but now he feels he has it under control. “I honestly love my job,” Brady said. He continued, “It is a great side gig. I honestly only work on weekends and planning the event can be a little stressful, but I’m starting to get things down. I love my job, and I think that this is a perfect school job.” Brady said he feels the clients and events he caters to are getting a good deal with their prices and the quality.
What are the future plans for this business?
The Little Acai Cart business is only 10 months old and there is still a lot of room for it to grow. Brady said, “Not a lot of people know about it yet. We don’t advertise much, so basically people just hear about us through word of mouth or through our Instagram page, @thelittleacaicart.”
Brady explained his brother has shown interest in possibly opening The Little Acai Cart in California, where he is currently living. “My brother and I were talking and he said that in the future, obviously distant future, we hope to possibly make this into a pretty large business. Maybe a café or something.”