Tropical Smoothie Cafe has signed a franchise agreement to open four restaurants in Idaho with the first cafe slated to open in June at 8925 Overland Rd. in Boise. The restaurants, owned and operated by husband-and-wife team, Kory and Michelle Pukash, will mark the brand's entry into the state.
"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," Mike Rotondo, chief executive officer of Tropical Smoothie Cafe, said in a company press release. "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."
Kory and Michelle Pukash have 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. 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," Michelle Pukash said. "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 more than 450 franchises and plans to open 100 restaurants this year. By 2020, the brand hopes to have 1,000 stores open across the U.S.
The chain 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, according to the release.
The chain reports an average unit volume 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, according to the release.