Boise Entrepreneurs Expand Leading Fast Casual Cafe’s Presence in the Northwest
Tropical Smoothie Cafe, the leading fast casual cafe concept known for its better-for-you food and smoothies with a tropical twist, announced today that it has signed a franchise agreement to open four restaurants in Idaho, with the first cafe slated to open at 8925 Overland Road in Boise this June. The new restaurants will mark the brand’s entry into the state and will be owned and operated by KMP TSC, LLC, comprised of longtime entrepreneurs and husband-and-wife team, Kory and Michelle Pukash.
“Tropical Smoothie Cafe experienced tremendous growth last year and that momentum has carried into 2017, which is due in part to our incredible network of franchisees who believe in our brand wholeheartedly,” said Mike Rotondo, chief executive officer of Tropical Smoothie Cafe. “We’ve had our sights set on Idaho for quite some time and are thrilled that Kory and Michelle will be leading the expansion efforts in the state. We’re confident that their deep-rooted experience in the business arena will only propel our growth, and we look forward to seeing where they take the brand next.”
Entrepreneurs Kory and Michelle bring a wealth of small business knowledge to Tropical Smoothie Cafe. The pair has owned a variety of businesses throughout their career, including BloodyFine Foods LLC, which sells Bloody Mary mixes; and KMP Companies LLC, an IT staffing company, both of which they still own today. Following the development of their first restaurant on Overland Road in Boise, the Pukashs will target additional markets throughout the state for further development. They are currently scouting sites in Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell, Twin Falls, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Coeur d’Alene and Spokane.
“It was important for us to find a concept that delivered a consistent brand promise to its customers. We found just that with Tropical Smoothie Cafe,” said Michelle. “There is a rising demand for an excellent quality of life in Idaho and an immense opportunity for constant recreational activities. Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s better-for-you food and smoothie options truly match the active lifestyle goals of the health conscious Idahoan and we’re confident that residents are going to love what we have to offer.”
Over the past three years, Tropical Smoothie Cafe has sold over 450 franchises nationwide. This expansion into Idaho was fueled by Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s accelerated development plans in 2017. On the heels of one of the strongest years in the company’s 20-year history, the award-winning brand successfully propelled its expansion and grew its presence in key markets nationwide, including Charleston, South Carolina; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Dallas, Texas; and Southern California.
This year, the food and smoothie franchise plans to open 100 restaurants nationwide and currently has franchise opportunities across the U.S. in markets such as Indianapolis, Nashville, Houston, Dallas, Cincinnati and Minneapolis, among others. By 2020, Tropical Smoothie Cafe plans to have 1,000 stores open across the U.S.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe is looking to add qualified franchisees to its growing brand. Candidates should have business experience; $125,000 in liquid assets and a minimum net worth of $350,000; and an initial investment of between $198,050 and $478,550. The healthier fast food franchise currently boasts an average unit volume (AUV) of more than $634,000 — the highest in the company’s 20-year history — with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of more than $806,000.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s aggressive franchise growth is backed by the entrepreneurs at the BIP Franchise Accelerator, a division of venture capital firm BIP Capital, which invested in the brand in 2010. BIP Capital has invested more than $250 million in emerging, high-growth brands across the franchising, software, and technology and consumer products industries. BIP Capital created the BIP Franchise Accelerator to leverage its leadership team’s deep franchise experience to help emerging brands accelerate their growth. In addition to Tropical Smoothie Cafe, the BIP Franchise Accelerator’s portfolio includes Tin Drum Asian Kitchen, which has grown to 11 locations in Georgia.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017, Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a fast-casual restaurant concept inspiring healthier lifestyles across the country, with over 550 locations nationwide. With snack and meal options for any time of day, Tropical Smoothie Cafe serves better-for-you smoothies, salads, wraps, sandwiches, and flatbreads. The rapidly growing franchise has received numerous accolades including being ranked on Entrepreneur’s 2017 Franchise 500, 2016 Fast Casual Top 100 Movers and Shakers, Franchise Times’ Top 200+ and Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2016 Top 200. Tropical Smoothie Cafe is seeking qualified franchisees to expand throughout the United States in markets such as Indianapolis, Nashville, Houston, Dallas, Cincinnati and Minneapolis, among others.
The BIP Franchise Accelerator is a division of BIP Capital, an Atlanta-based venture capital firm with over $250 million invested in over 26 companies in emerging, high-growth brands across the franchising, software, technology and consumer products industries. BIP Capital created the BIP Franchise Accelerator to leverage its leadership team’s deep franchise experience to help emerging brands accelerate their growth. The BIP Franchise Accelerator not only provides investment capital, but also uses proven strategies to help companies evolve into mature, thriving brands. From fast casual and QSR concepts to service brands and healthcare and education concepts, the BIP Franchise Accelerator has invested in emerging brands driven by people with an entrepreneurial spirit that have a great growth potential. Its current portfolio includes Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Tin Drum Asian Kitchen and BIP Franchise Finance. For more information on BIP Franchise Accelerator, visit www.bipfranchiseaccelerator.com.