When Smoothie King franchisee Bob Viani sold all 17 of his Planet Fitness locations spread across the Hudson Valley region of New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, he was looking to continue his entrepreneurial journey within an industry he loved: nutrition and wellness.
At the same time, the Smoothie King mission statement – inspire people to live a healthy and active lifestyle – caught his attention.
“I’ve been in the nutrition and fitness industry since ’89,” Viani explained. “So, I’ve always known about Smoothie King.”
In keeping with his decision to stay within the nutrition and fitness segment was the location of his Smoothie King store in Wappingers Falls, New York – and the 900th unit within the international franchise network. It happens to be across the street from one of his former Planet Fitness locations. However, the decision was no coincidence.
“The intersection sees vehicle traffic in excess of 47,000 cars per day on average, and there are other destination retail establishments, including McDonald’s and Walgreens,” Viani explained. “It’s right in the center of the county—it’s a great location.”
Viani is looking to capitalize on the influx of cars with a drive-thru, which helps make eating nutritious foods like smoothies more convenient for on-the-go guests.
Where the Fire to Invest in Smoothie King Was Lit
During a visit with a colleague from Planet Fitness in St. Louis, Missouri, Viani witnessed first-hand the impact of the rebranding efforts Smoothie King has put in place over the last few years.
“We pulled in, and it was a nice, beautiful retail location with a great menu,” he explained.
After having sold his franchise portfolio, Viani wasn’t ready to retire and wanted to continue to invest in a brand that had a nutrition-focused product and business model.
“I went to Franchise Expo East last year and had been doing research online, but nothing really caught my eye,” Viani said. “I didn’t want to invest in a concept just to make money – I wanted it to be something I’m passionate about.”
A Missing Ingredient in the Community
There was a major deficit in the Hudson Valley market for smoothie concepts. Viani is looking forward to providing a product in the local area that can cater to anyone. One trend that Viani has clearly noted is the demand for better-for-you alternatives to the typical foods available at quick-service restaurants.
He sees Smoothie King leading the pack providing consumers with nutrition-oriented products, and he recognizes people – both guests and business owners – want to be part of that.
As a Smoothie King franchisee, he loves the simplicity of Smoothie King’s business model. Viani also highlighted the fact that Smoothie King has garnered significant brand recognition nationwide through The Smoothie King Center, as well as through the organic growth of the brand in new markets.
How Does it Feel to be Smoothie King Franchisee No. 900?
“I feel really proud to represent the brand for this milestone,” Viani said.
Joining Viani for the grand opening were multiple members of the Smoothie King corporate team, including CEO Wan Kim and Chief Development Officer Kevin King. The Chamber of Commerce made it official with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“My wife is involved, my two kids—it’s going to be something we all can participate in and enjoy,” Viani emphasized.
As the owner of Smoothie King’s 900th store, Viani is a great representative of the brand, living the Smoothies With a Purpose® message and hoping to spread the message throughout his community.
Interested in opening Smoothie King’s 1,000th location? Learn more about becoming part of an international brand as a franchisee by downloading our Franchise Kit.