Atlanta-based BIP Opportunities Fund, LP (BIP) announced today that it has purchased controlling interest in Tropical Smoothie Café (TSC), a 315 unit food and smoothie franchise. Scott Pressly, partner at BIP, assumes the role of Chairman of the Board, and Mike Rotondo has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer.
Both Pressly and Rotondo lend extensive franchise industry experience to Tropical Smoothie Café and the efforts to grow the company. Pressly has held a variety of leadership and board positions with the International Franchise Association, and has a strong track record of financial investments in franchise brands. Rotondo has led the Tropical Smoothie Café brand for the past four years as Chief Operating Officer and personally steered the effort to expand TSC’s healthy menu options with the introduction of flatbreads resulting in a MenuMasters Award by Nation’s Restaurant News.
“We were attracted to TSC’s passionate franchisee base and fresh, ‘better-for-you’ product offerings. We feel the company is well positioned for substantial growth,” said Pressly. “Our expansion plans will be to increase franchise sales by driving franchisee economics. When the franchisee wins, everyone wins.”
“We have won national awards for our food offerings but many consumers still perceive us as a smoothie concept,” said Rotondo. “Our job is to spread the word about our menu variety in addition to our renowned real-fruit smoothies, to further drive our franchisees’ success.”
Capitalizing on increasingly healthy trends in the marketplace, Tropical Smoothie Café’s franchisees currently generate over 50% of their sales from its signature line of sandwiches, wraps and flatbreads. To further build on this trend, the marketing strategy will continue to focus on promoting the bold flavors and healthy food options at the cafés.
Founded in 1997, Tropical Smoothie Café provides diners with healthier food choices with a tropical twist. Tropical Smoothie Café franchised locations offer made-to-order toasted wraps, flatbreads, sandwiches and gourmet salads, while continuing to provide consumers with a variety of high-quality real-fruit smoothies. Tropical Smoothie Café includes dine-in, take-out and catering menu options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, available through online ordering. For more information on Tropical Smoothie Café, please visit www.tropicalsmoothiecafe.com, www.facebook.com/tropicalsmoothiecafe or call 888-292-2522.
BIP Opportunities Fund is an Atlanta-based investment firm focused on providing capital and operational support to emerging, high-growth companies. The firm seeks to invest between $2 million to $5 million in companies with revenues up to $15 million. Investments will generally be based within the Southeast but BIP remains opportunistic to other domestically-based investment opportunities. Industry sectors covered include technology, healthcare, business services, franchising, and specialty finance. For additional information on BIP Opportunities Fund, please visit www.bipfund.com.