Robeks Smoothie first store opened in Phoenix in 2003, and the brand expanded into Tucson and Prescott Valley, Arizona, before the recession hit in 2007. Robeks stopped growing then to focus on helping franchise owners cope.
With the economy growing again, and a series of successful menu additions, Robeks is ready to start growing again.
"I think we can easily double the number of stores that we have," says Kevin Jackson, regional director for Robeks. "We have two stores in Tucson, two in Prescott Valley, and four in Phoenix, and there is huge demand."
Jackson, who opened the first Robeks store in Arizona, is glad to see economic indicators improve: The national unemployment rate is down 1.5 percent from this time in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; housing prices are up 1.2 percent, according to S&P's Case-Shiller index; and consumer confidence is up 20 percent, according to the Behavior Research Center.
With small business prospects improving, Robeks offers entrepreneurs a business model that matches several emerging trends in the food industry.
Millions of Americans are responding to the nation's obesity and other health crises by adopting more natural diets that substitute fruits and vegetables for processed food.
Nationwide smoothie sales doubled from 2007–2011, reaching $2.4 billion.
Robeks offers a fast, convenient, and tasty alternative to typical fast-food meals. Its smoothies and juices use naturally ripened fruits and vegetables that retain nutrients, live enzymes, and natural flavor.
"Robeks has a delicious menu that doesn't cut any corners," says Robeks president and CEO Steve Davidson. "We've succeeded by delighting customers and winning their trust. Robeks smoothies and juices don't just taste good, they are good."
This year, Robeks has added green smoothies, fresh green vegetable juices, and Greek yogurt smoothies to make its menu even healthier, and systemwide sales have grown.