Tropical Smoothie Café announced Wednesday it has signed a franchise development agreement to expand its presence in Indiana. The brand’s existing franchisees, David and Ruth Buko, alongside first-time Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchisee James Volpert, will be developing eight cafes throughout the Indianapolis area, with the first two locations expected to open in Hamilton and Boone counties in 2019.
“We’re continuing to accelerate development in emerging markets like Indianapolis as a result of our ongoing success and even more so, our commitment to investing in our people by prioritizing the needs of our franchisees, which has helped fuel our widespread growth nationwide,” says Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe. “With existing franchisees like the Bukos expanding their relationship with us, and new franchisees like James Volpert coming onboard, we’re on track to have another stellar year. We are confident that the Bukos’ brand knowledge and James’ leadership experience will help take the brand to new heights, as we continue to grow throughout Indianapolis and beyond.”
David and Ruth Buko became Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchisees back in 2012 when they opened their first restaurant in Lansing, Michigan. Today, the husband-and-wife team owns six cafes throughout Lansing and Saginaw. An Indianapolis native, James Volpert brings years of experience in the advertising and sales industry and will oversee day-to-day operations of the eight cafes, along with his wife Angela. The group is currently scouting locations throughout the Indianapolis area, with the first two cafes slated to open in Carmel and Fishers in 2019.
“Having worked with David for years in the advertising industry, I’ve seen firsthand his ability to grow a business and achieve tremendous success,” says Volpert. “It was David and Ruth who encouraged me to try Tropical Smoothie Cafe and after my first experience, I instantly understood what all the hype was about and knew Tropical Smoothie Cafe was not only a concept that I could get behind, but one that the rest of Indianapolis could as well. I’m proud to join the Tropical Smoothie Cafe team as a franchisee and look forward to working with the Bukos to grow the brand in Indiana.”
Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s accelerated growth in Indianapolis emphasizes the brand’s aggressive development efforts in the market and nationwide, having signed nearly 100 franchise agreements thus far in 2018. Tropical Smoothie Cafe 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 $222,095 and $559,335. The better-for-you food franchise currently boasts an average unit volume (AUV) of more than $681,000 — the highest in the company's 21-year history — with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of more than $873,000.
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