Smoothie King Franchises Inc. announced the opening of its second location in the Cayman Islands with BW Ventures Ltd., owned by Barry Bodden and Gary Watler. The latest opening is part of a four-store development agreement for the Cayman Islands, an important market for the brand’s international expansion.
“International expansion is a key part of our growth strategy for the next several years. We’re continuing to develop franchise and corporate locations in South Korea, Singapore, and the Cayman Islands, while also focusing on identifying partners in several key countries in the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East,” says Dan Hannah, vice president of international business development for Smoothie King. “The top 20 percent of our 126 international locations in three countries have experienced an average unit volume of 1 million U.S.D., proving Smoothie King is a strong investment opportunity worldwide. We’re thrilled to continue our strong partnership with BW Ventures Ltd. in the Cayman Islands where our mission is to serve more residents and visitors aiming to live healthy, active lifestyles.”
Franchisees Bodden and Watler opened their first Smoothie King in West Bay, Cayman Islands, in 2010. Their second store, located at Flagship Building Unit No. 101 in George Town, opened earlier this month and the team will open a third location in 2015. Both Watler and Boden had been small business owners in the finance and heavy equipment industries, respectively, prior to joining the Smoothie King brand.
“My family moved from the Cayman Islands to New Orleans when I was 12, and as an athlete focused on fitness and being healthy, I was a frequent Smoothie King customer,” Watler says. “After I returned to Cayman about 10 years ago, my business partner and I started to see the trend on the islands moving more toward healthier lifestyles and healthier food options. The timing was right to bring Smoothie King to the Cayman Islands and I was already a huge brand advocate having grown up with the products. It was a perfect business opportunity for us.”
Smoothie King aims to add more than 500 new franchised and corporate locations internationally over the next five years. Target markets include Singapore, Japan, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.
“Consumers in the U.S. have been paying closer attention to where their food comes from and what they’re putting in their bodies. This trend is growing among younger populations in Asia and the Middle East,” Hannah says. “We see robust opportunities for the brand to enter new markets through international development agreements with franchise partners to help solidify Smoothie King as not only the leading smoothie franchise in the U.S., but also around the world.”
Franchisees should possess a passion for the brand and be dedicated to serving the community. Smoothie King is focused on identifying strong partners currently operating multi-unit food and beverage or retail outlets. Partners should have local hospitality market experience, a history of success, knowledge of the real estate market, and the willingness to devote a full-time team to the Smoothie King brand.