Acai bowl with mac nut butter is Well + Proper

There's cacao nibs on it too, plus green juices and smoothies at this Chinatown spot
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When Frolic intern Lia Mausolf told me about the huge acai bowl crowned with mac nut butter and cacao nibs that she got in Chinatown, she had my complete attention. That was at the end of June. I’d been trying to make it to Well + Proper ever since — and when I did recently, I found a lot more than acai.

Well + Proper is on Smith Street, close to the Marin Tower municipal parking garage.

Well + Proper has been open on Smith Street since January, but the hours fluctuated because it’s run by one-woman show Jenelle. Now it's open consistently from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays only.

Jenelle got her start selling organic cold-pressed juices and green smoothies in Vancouver, Canada. When demand skyrocketed, she started doing juice feasts (aka juice cleanses) for clients. After eight years, she decided to spread her wings, move to Hawaii and start an expanded business. 

Some of the juices at Well + Proper. - Photo courtesy Well + Proper 

That was three years ago. It took Jenelle some time to find a space she really wanted for her store, so in the meantime she set up a website and offered juice subscriptions to clients including pro surfers on the North Shore. She found the Chinatown spot last year.

“There are so many acai bowls that are high in sugar, are not organic and not using the highest-quality ingredients,” she says. “Bowls can be so much more nourishing than the ones provided at some places. I wanted the opportunity to provide a great bowl for people.”

The interior of Well + Proper.
With only four counter seats, most customers opt to grab and go.

“And that’s where I got the name ‘Well and Proper,’” she says. “I do it well and I do it proper.”

The green juice menu features more than 100 recipes. - Photo courtesy Well + Proper

“With juice subscriptions, you can get anywhere from six to 18 bottles delivered a week,” Jenelle says. “It’s really up to the individual. I have a massive green juice menu and I rotate juices so customers don’t have any repeat juices during the week. Ideally, you should be rotating your greens.”

I would rotate my greens, except today I’m here for an acai bowl. 

The acai bowls don’t all have names, but there are several varieties to choose from.

Acai bowls are available in small ($7.50-9.50) or large ($9.50-13.25) sizes and are made with organic ingredients like raw-nola, which Jenelle makes daily with organic, gluten-free oats. She also makes the mac nut butters and nut mylks (not a typo) that go into the bowls. 

The most popular acai bowl features acai, bananas, blueberries, mac nut butter, strawberries, raw cacao and mac nut mylk.

This acai blend isn’t super sweet. I find it refreshing, especially in the overwhelmingly muggy weather we’ve been having. It’s also not extremely tart, thanks to the raw cacao nibs and creamy mac nut butter. The fresh fruits are delicious, but my favorite part has to be the raw-nola. It’s not crunchy like typical granola, but I enjoy the chewier oat texture and softer consistency. 

Jenelle tells me to come back soon for the juices. Due to the nature of my job, juice cleanses aren’t exactly my thing. But for an acai bowl, my next visit will only be a matter of time. 

Well + Proper
918 Smith St. 
Open Mon-Fri 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.