Smoothie King as a nationally-spread franchise, but also a locally-owned business, strives to provide delicious, yet healthy meal-replacement smoothie options for those wishing to adapt to a better lifestyle. Whether you’re trying to slim down or tone up, Smoothie King has a variety of options for you to choose from. No matter your goal, you can pick a smoothie that fits your palate and your wellness aims.
Jackie Floyd and Kelli Kent, the local business owners, were first inspired to become involved with the franchise when they recognized a shared passion of the business and their own lifestyle goals.
“I had been to a Smoothie King when I lived in Kansas City during graduate school. I loved the concept behind the brand, which is to inspire people to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Our family is very active, and the brand’s mission and vision fit with the lifestyle we desired to live,” recollected Jackie.
Upon seeing a niche to be filled in the Mid-Missouri area, Jackie and Kelli opened their first Smoothie King in Columbia, in 2015. The journey of their business started as many do, looking for a partner in finance. There was no question in Kelli and Jackie’s minds as to who would be the best financial support.
“When we were looking at financing for our first Smoothie King, we immediately went to Ryan Bross from Central Bank. We had previously worked with Ryan on some speculative home builds and we'd had success on both ends. Ryan was intrigued and willing to hear us out on our business plan, long term growth ideas, and cost estimates. We haven't looked back since,” stated Kelli.
After the opening of the first location, the sisters’ business was immediately welcomed by the surrounding college community, especially the out-of-town students who missed the Smoothie King stores from their hometowns. With the support of the community and Central Bank by their side, Jackie and Kelli went on to open three more locations – the most recent being a prime spot in downtown Columbia.
Their innovation hasn’t stopped there. In July of 2016, the sisters decided to take the business on the road with their own Smoothie King food truck. After purchasing an old FedEx truck and outfitting the new set of wheels with smoothie-making capabilities, Smoothie King was ready to hit the road and provide to thirsty customers across Mid-Missouri.
“We have been able to participate in some community events such as the City's Fourth of July celebration as well as the Root N Blues N BBQ Festival. Both were very successful events in which we were able to increase our brand awareness as well as interact personally with members of the Columbia community,” explained Kelli. The Smoothie King crew now looks forward to expanding into new market areas that would not have been possible without the truck. Kelli continued, “We have been able to sell from locations that logistically would have been impossible due to space and/or weather limitations (limiting us to selling under only a tent), such as on campus and at local MU football games.”
The sisters’ business has come a long way since the opening of their first location and only continues to grow. “Since that first loan, Central Bank has gone on to finance and work with us on four other Smoothie King locations. The process has been smooth and handled professionally every time. We look to continue working with Central Bank as we expand our Smoothie King business.”