Healthy Hippo

ALL PHOTOS: Chelsea Mealo

It seems that lately the acai bowl and healthy smoothie craze has kicked into high gear, and although this popular trend seems to be everywhere, there are still some places that are in desperate need of the delicious offerings---- including Ventnor City.

Ventnor's Healthy Hippo is set to become a local staple

Ventnor City is located right next to hotspot tourist destination Atlantic City, so much so that you can vaguely make out the sound of whirling slot machines in the distance. Although Ventnor has a lot to offer with picturesque beaches, a local small-town vibe and a lengthy boardwalk, a healthy eatery was needed.

That's where The Healthy Hippo comes in, Ventnor City's new one-stop-shop for all things fruity, healthy and flavorful. Owners Rocky Lacovara and Rebecca Jones wanted to create a space where locals and visitors could come hang out, kick back and feel truly good about what they are eating.

Healthy Hippo


"We got this idea when we were sitting in Puerto Rico at this smoothie place, and we just loved the vibe and the products," says Lacovara. "We were always eating acai bowls, smoothies and green-based products, and we realized there really wasn't a place like this in Ventnor. We thought it would be great if we could do this ourselves, so we decided this was the time and we just went for it."

Lacovara grew up in Ventnor City and knew the layout of the area. With the newly opened Stockton University dorms in the distance, he set his sights on the promising Ventnor Business District. "We chose the Ventnor Business District for our location, it's a real up-and-coming area," says Lacovara. "Everywhere around here just filled up and the old leases were immediately scooped up---every single place on this block is in use. The summer has provided us with steady business, hopefully Stockton helps drive the business in the winter as well."

Healthy Hippo

The idea for Healthy Hippo also came from owner Rebecca Jones' career. As a professional ballerina, a healthy diet is not only ideal for Jones--- it's a necessity.

Ventnor is a mecca for surfers, beach-goers and highly-active audiences, so the appeal of a fast, healthy and delicious spot has already taken the city by storm. The menu spans from flavor-packed acai bowls, an array of smoothies, snacks and other drinks sold on site as well. 

"Our Starving Surfer bowl is definitely a fan favorite. It's an acai bowl with blueberries, bananas, chia seeds, granola, honey and almond butter. We also feature a special smoothie of the week that will change, and we can add any specialty powders to our products as well," adds Lacovara.

Healthy Hippo

The passion the owners have for this new hotspot becomes apparent when you look at the product itself. The ingredients are fresh, the technique is skilled and the flavor is quite tasty. Although the summer is coming to a close, the need for this type of spot is still vital to the area. The Healthy Hippo is not only here to make waves and supply delicious menu offerings for a tight-knit community like Ventnor, it's here to become a local staple for all.

The Healthy Hippo is located at 5209 Atlantic Ave., Ventnor City, New Jersey

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