The owner of 12 Smoothie King locations throughout Louisiana, Roger Wilder was recognized for his commitment to the brand and contributions to his local community
Roger Wilder, a multi-unit franchisee with Smoothie King, was recently honored at the International Franchise Association Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting on September 13 in Washington D.C., with the esteemed 2016 Franchisee of the Year Award.
“The 2016 Franchisee of the Year Awards is a chance for all of the industry’s top performers to come together under one roof. We’re proud to once again recognize Roger Wilder for his commitment to Smoothie King and his dedication to his local community. Without question, the recognition of Roger’s impact on the entire Smoothie King system deserves to be elevated to a much larger level,” said Wan Kim, the CEO of Smoothie King.
Wilder is the owner of a dozen Smoothie King locations throughout Louisiana. A franchisee since he was only 23, the brand has long been a part of Wilder’s life. Starting as a staff member at the stores of Smoothie King’s original owners, Steve and Cindy Kuhnau, Wilder quickly fell in love with the brand’s product and mission to inspire its guests to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Nearly 15 years later, Wilder’s belief in the brand is even stronger than when he started. After his first year of business, Wilder received Smoothie King’s Outstanding New Franchisee Award and has gained recognition as the No. 1 store in the system for multiple years.
“With passion and hard work, you will find success, but it’s vital for you to love and believe in the product you’re selling. I found that with Smoothie King, and it’s become the inspiration in everything I do,” Wilder said. “It’s exciting to have my good work recognized by the Franchise Action Network—it’s an honor that I’ll use to fuel success in my store and in my community in the years to come.”
Giving back to his community has long been at the core of everything Wilder does. In late August of this year, a massive flood swept through parts of southern and eastern Louisiana. Some areas took on more than eight feet of water, and upwards of 100,000 homes were damaged or destroyed—marking the beginning of a long road to recovery. Today, the waters have since receded, and the critical work of rebuilding homes and damaged businesses is now a daily slog for many Baton Rouge residents. Wilder’s Smoothie King location in Denham Springs was substantially damaged by the flood waters. But instead of letting the devastation dampen his spirits, he turned it into an opportunity to give back to a community that had already given him so much. As soon as the waters receded, ,Wilder and a handful of his team members began blending smoothies out of his other locations, walked the streets for a week straight, and donated more than 10,0000 Smoothie King smoothies to local residents, helping to keep them cool and nourished in the scorching Louisiana heat as they started the process of rebuilding.
“For all of these reasons and more, I can’t think of a better person to receive the Franchise Action Network’s Franchisee of the Year Award. Roger is not only dedicated to the Smoothie King brand, but he’s a humble, community-focused humanitarian who will go out of his way to give back any chance he gets. We’re lucky to have him on our team,” Kim said.
Smoothie King Franchises, Inc. is a privately held, New Orleans-area-based franchise company with 800 units worldwide. By creating each smoothie with a purpose, Smoothie King makes it simple and pleasurable for guests to achieve their individual health goals as part of a low-calorie diet and regular exercise routine. The franchise also offers a number of nutritious retail products, including sports beverages, energy bars, vitamin supplements and more.
Smoothie King was founded in 1973 by Steve Kuhnau, whose mission was to help others achieve better health in a tasty way. In 1989, Smoothie King became the first franchised smoothie bar/health food store in the U.S. and currently operates in 33 states, the Caymans, the Middle East, and the Republic of Korea. In 2015, Smoothie King was ranked No. 1 by Entrepreneur magazine in the juice bar category for the 23rd year and No. 92 overall on the 2015 Franchise 500 list. In 2014, Smoothie King partnered with the New Orleans Pelicans to launch the Smoothie King Center, a multi-purpose indoor arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. Smoothie King offers veterans a 20 percent discount off the initial franchisee fee. Visit www.smoothieking.com or www.smoothiekingfranchise.com; engage on Facebook www.facebook.com/SmoothieKing; follow on Twitter at http://twitter.com/smoothieking.