Local restaurant's two locations specialize in fresh, flavorful food; Strike amazing balance between better-for-you eating with better taste.
After meeting Ashley Fockler-Roberts, it doesn't take long to sense her true passion for healthy and delicious cuisine.
The Stark County entrepreneur is a firm believer that healthy food fuels the body and mind with positivity.
In fact, she and her husband, Michael Roberts, had exactly that in mind when they formed BAM! Healthy Cuisine in 2005.
"Originally, the BAM! name was based on the initials from Body And Mind," Fockler-Roberts said.
That philosophy still rings true today, as the restaurant continues to grow and expand its offerings.
The original BAM! Healthy Cuisine location was in North Canton at North Main St. and Applegrove St. Significant growth required a move to Washington Square (2185 East Maple St., North Canton) in 2013.
Sales doubled after one year in the Washington Square location, so plans for a second location began to materialize. In 2016, the second BAM! location opened in Nobles Pond (7160 Fulton Dr. NW, Canton).
Sales in 2018 were double what they were in 2013.
"Our biggest challenge is letting people know what BAM! is and what we have to offer," Fockler-Roberts said. "As people have gotten to know who we are and what we do, we've continued to get busier."
There have been discussions about opening additional restaurants and looking into a franchising agreement.
"We'll call that our long-term plan," Fockler-Roberts said.
In the meantime, the owners and team of nearly 50 BAM! employees at both locations remain focused on satisfying customers with a full menu of fresh, flavorful food.
BAM!'s offerings come in four main categories — Wraps & Sandwiches, Perfect Pizza, Satisfying Salads and Power Bowls. BAM! also offers SmoothShakes, BAM! Ballz (a healthy spin on snack treats) and sides.
"Our bowls and pizzas are big sellers," Fockler Roberts said. "And our Avocado-Banana-Spinach smoothie is a customer favorite."
Fockler-Roberts said customers find it hard to believe healthy food can be so tasty.
"We combine nutritious with delicious by making everything as fresh as possible," she said. "If someone orders a bowl with steak, the steak is cooked from raw specifically for that order. Our salmon and shrimp are wild caught."
Everything at BAM! is made from scratch.
"It takes a little longer to get your order, but it's well worth the wait," she said. "We take great pride in the quality of our food."
BAM!'s popularity can be tied to the fact that people want to look and feel better, according to Fockler-Roberts.
"When I was younger, fitness and healthy eating was about looking good," Fockler-Roberts said. "As I've gotten older, I realize how important it is to feel better."
Fockler-Roberts said BAM! was conceived around her and her husband's passion for healthy eating and healthy living.
"We didn't set out to open a restaurant," Fockler-Roberts said. "We went into this with an open mind. It's taken a lot of hard work. We're very determined."
That determination also is aimed at pleasing customers.
"It's challenging, but everyone's idea of healthy eating is a little different," Fockler-Roberts said. "We listen to customers and develop menu items that meet their needs."
BAM!'s customer base is diverse. Fans range from young to old.
"I just love it when little kids come in and I get to see their excitement about our food," Fockler-Roberts said.
Even with all the growth and success, Fockler-Roberts still loves the business basics that have served as the foundation for BAM!'s success.
"I enjoy interacting with customers," she said. "Seeing their excitement fuels me. When they see my enthusiasm, they get excited. And that just keeps things growing and growing."
Receiving so much from the greater Canton and North Canton communities, BAM! loves to return the favor. BAM! supports the North Canton and Jackson YMCAs. And the restaurant supports as many schools as possible.
"We feature art from students from local schools in both of our locations," Fockler-Roberts said. "It's great to see the kids come in to show their parents their artwork. We're always looking for schools to provide artwork."
Customers can eat in, place takeout and catering orders, and even hold events at both BAM! locations.
"We have plenty of room, especially at our Jackson location," Fockler-Roberts said. "And we encourage the community to hold events here. It's our way of sharing with our community."
As long as Stark County residents want to look and feel good, there'll be a place for BAM! Healthy Cuisine.
And as long as BAM! continues to provide good-for-you food that tastes good, Stark Countians will have the opportunity to look and feel good.