Why These First Responders Chose Smoothie King

Smoothie King logo on a red background.

Michael Martin was a police officer, and his wife Nancy is an occupational therapist (OT). Although these two don’t have a background in the restaurant industry, they were a perfect fit for Smoothie King franchise ownership. Through the First Responders Initiative, Smoothie King is giving opportunities to aspiring entrepreneurs and making their dreams of business ownership possible.

First Responders to Franchisee

Michael served as a Greenwood police office for 16 years. He truly loved investigation, but worked in many different departments including evidence, active patrolling and narcotics. Although a rewarding profession, it also poses many risks, and Michael disliked the inconsistent schedule and time he spent away from his family. Now, Michael works as an investigator for an insurance company, giving him more time to spend with family.

“As much as I loved police work, with this job I knew I would make it home each night in time for my family,” said Michael.

Nancy was experiencing career changes, too. She went to school for her MBA in hopes of working in hospital administration, but her business savvy led the pair in a different direction. After they decided that a franchise business would be right for them, their son encouraged them to visit a Smoothie King as guests. After the visit, the couple thought this might be the business for them.

“We wanted to do something that would have a positive impact on our community, especially since I have experience in healthcare and see the effects of fast food,” said Nancy.

First Responders Initiative

As the Martins learned more about the smoothie franchise, the Smoothie King development team introduced them to the First Responders Initiative. This program offers a franchise fee discount to first responders, similar to the military discount that Smoothie King offers. The Martins are some of the first participants in this initiative.

“I miss the day-to-day of law enforcement. The people were amazing,” said Michael. “But being able to give back in another way and use my service to get us started is great. Smoothie King really checked all the boxes.”

The First Responders Initiative made it possible for the Martins to pursue business ownership and will help them work toward their goal of multi-unit ownership. Nancy hopes to open three to four locations, beginning with two locations in Lexington and Columbia, South Carolina.

Complementary Skills

While neither of the Martins have run a business before or been involved in a quick-service restaurant, both of their previous jobs prepared them for the challenges ahead. Nancy has been in charge of hiring, managing, coaching, budgeting, inventory and customer service. Michael’s police work allowed him to work with people every day.

“I was serving the public then, and I’ll be serving the public now,” said Michael.

Nancy plans to leave her OT job to manage operations full time once their location opens.

“I’ve done a little bit of everything, so while Smoothie King is different, I’m ready for the challenge. I’m excited to work with young people to encourage and support them on a career path.”

The Martins enjoy the support from the Smoothie King franchise office and are confident in its guidance. They hope to open their first location in the spring of 2018 and already have a second location in development.

If you’re interested in opening a Smoothie King franchise, download our Franchise Kit.


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