Atlanta-based BIP Opportunities Fund, LP (BIP) announced today that it has purchased controlling interest in Tropical Smoothie Café (TSC), a 315-unit food and smoothie franchise.
Scott Pressly, partner at BIP, will assume the role of chairman of the board, and Mike Rotondo has been promoted to CEO.
Both Pressly and Rotondo lend extensive franchise industry experience to Tropical Smoothie Café and the efforts to grow the company.
Pressly has held a variety of leadership and board positions with the International Franchise Association and has a strong track record of financial investments in franchise brands.
Rotondo has led the Tropical Smoothie Café brand for the past four years as chief operating officer and personally steered the effort to expand TSC’s healthy menu options with the introduction of flatbreads.
“We were attracted to TSC’s passionate franchisee base and fresh, ‘better-for-you’ product offerings,” Pressly says. “We feel the company is well positioned for substantial growth. Our expansion plans will be to increase franchise sales by driving franchisee economics. When the franchisee wins, everyone wins.”
Rotondo says, “We have won national awards for our food offerings, but many consumers still perceive us as a smoothie concept. Our job is to spread the word about our menu variety, in addition to our renowned real-fruit smoothies, to further drive our franchisees’ success.”
Capitalizing on increasingly healthy trends in the marketplace, Tropical Smoothie Café’s franchisees currently generate more than 50 percent of their sales from its signature line of sandwiches, wraps, and flatbreads.
To further build on this trend, the marketing strategy will continue to focus on promoting the bold flavors and healthy food options at the cafés.