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Tropical Smoothie Cafe targets Indianapolis for eight eateries

May 2, 2018

Tropical Smoothie Cafe announced plans Wednesday to open eight franchises throughout the Indianapolis area over the next five years, starting with two in Hamilton County in 2019.

The Atlanta-based chain has signed a franchise development agreement with two franchisees to grow its Indiana presence. Currently, the only Tropical Smoothie Cafes in Indiana are in Columbus and at College Mall in Bloomington, company spokesperson Courtney Whelan told IBJ.  

The Indianapolis-area agreement was signed with new franchisee James Volpert and existing franchisees David and Ruth Buko, who have six Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchises in Michigan The Bukos opened their first franchise in Lansing in 2012.

Volpert, who has experience in the advertising and sales industry, will oversee day-to-day operations of the local cafes.

The group is scouting locations around Indianapolis, the company said.

The first Tropical Smoothie Cafe opened in 1997 in Destin, Florida, and the first franchise opened in Tallahassee, Florida, the following year. Since then, the company has opened more than 650 stores in 44 states.

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,” CEO Mike Rotondo said in written comments. “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.”

Tropical Smoothie Cafe advertises itself as a “better-for-you food and smoothie chain.” Its menu features a mix of "healthy" food options such as salads, sandwiches, wraps and breakfast items—and smoothies. The average per-person sale is more than $8.75, its website states.

The top 50 percent of franchisees average gross sales of about $873,000 per location annually, according to the company's website.

The stores typically feature a beach house decor and range from 1,200 to 1,800 square feet.

 

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