Road to 1,000 Stores: Smoothie King Milestones
Since its establishment in 1973, Smoothie King has evolved in many ways – developing new smoothie blends and ingredients, updating its logo and growing into an international powerhouse.
Building an Empire
When founder Steve Kuhnau first created Smoothie King, he wanted to provide guests a better-for-you alternative to popular milkshakes. He also searched in vain for products to help combat his food allergies and nutritional deficiencies – prompting him to blend his own concoctions of nutrients, fruits and protein. He opened his first Smoothie King in Louisiana, and the first franchise location opened in New Orleans 16 years later in 1989.
Smoothies for the Masses
The brand experienced rapid growth in following years, ranking No. 1 in its category on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 just three years later in 1992. In 2003, Smoothie King began international expansion, opening its first international locations in South Korea.
Not ten years later, in 2012, South Korean master franchisee Wan Kim became Smoothie King’s new CEO. His passion for the brand and for Kuhnau’s vision of a better-for-you fast casual alternative led the brand into a new era.
Staying Current with a Nod to the Past
2014 marked Smoothie King’s logo change – updated to reflect the brand’s sense of community. The points on the red crown represent three people. The person on the right is extending a hand, inviting other to join.
In 2017, Smoothie King was ranked No. 1 in its category on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list for the 24th consecutive year. The fast-growing franchise also opened its 900th store in New York’s Hudson Valley, expanding the brand’s network of purpose-driven smoothie bars in the United States, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago and the Cayman Islands.
The 1,000th Smoothie King store – set to open in 2018 – is well within reach, and the brand looks forward to ushering in many more years of inspiring people to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
To learn more about how Smoothie King has evolved over the years, check out our video!