Tropical Smoothie Cafe announced it signed a franchise development agreement with area developer Cody Sommer to further expand the brand's footprint in Utah.
Sommer currently operates six existing locations throughout the state, and will be opening four new cafes in Draper, Springville, Herriman and American Fork over the next year. Tropical Smoothie Cafe has experienced a surge in franchise development fueled by several years of compounding success, signing more than 140 franchise agreements this year alone to propel its ongoing nationwide expansion.
"Over the past several years, our brand has grown from a regional concept to one of the fastest growing brands in the fast casual segment, which we've achieved through our commitment to our core values and by continually investing in product innovation. As a result, we've seen many of our existing franchisees decide to expand within their territories, which is a true testament to their confidence in the company," said Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe. "Since joining Tropical Smoothie Cafe in 2012, Cody has been a driving force in our efforts to further our expansion and drive brand recognition throughout the west, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds as he continues propelling his business forward in Utah."
Cody Sommer, president of Mystere Holdings, LLC and owner of Nevada-based civil engineering company, Syntech, was introduced to Tropical Smoothie Cafe in 2012 in Las Vegas. He was immediately attracted to the brand, concept and menu offerings and knew he needed to open his own cafe in Utah. Sommer opened Utah's first Tropical Smoothie Cafe in 2013 in St. George and established exclusive rights to develop a total of 25 cafes throughout the state by 2022. In fact, his first location in Utah landed in the company's top 10 performing cafes in its second year of business. With this new agreement, Sommer has grown his portfolio to 10 locations throughout Utah and has plans for continued expansion throughout the state, eyeing Salt Lake City for future development.
"The tremendous success that we have achieved throughout Utah further validates my own personal passion and belief in this brand," said Sommer. "There is a rising demand for an excellent quality of life in the state but a lack of easily accessible, better-for-you food options, which is why residents have taken so well to our concept. We're proud to bring another batch of Tropical Smoothie Cafes to Utah and provide them with food and smoothie offerings that truly match the active lifestyle goals of this growing health conscious community."
Tropical Smoothie Cafe 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. The food and smoothie franchise 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 $222,770 and $525,400. The better-for-you food franchise currently boasts an average unit volume (AUV) of more than $662,000 — the highest in the company's 20-year history — with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of more than $846,000.
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.