Smoothie King thinks Long Island will be the sweet spot.
Franchisee AB Smoothies LLC has signed a lease to open the second Smoothie King on Long Island — in Massapequa Park — in August, said Andrew Weinstein, co-owner of the franchise.
In February, Weinstein and his business partner, Barry Edwards, also took over ownership of a 7-year-old Smoothie King in Carle Place.
They plan to open about five additional Long Island locations in the next five years, Weinstein said.
They also own four Smoothie King franchises in Florida and are in the process of buying 10 more existing stores in Atlanta, he said.
Headquartered in Dallas, Smoothie King has more than 900 locations nationwide offering blended, frozen beverages made with fruit, juice, nuts and/or vegetables.
“We love the brand, the cleaner blending initiative. There is no gluten, no high-fructose corn syrup, no trans fat, no hydrogenated oil. … It’s a meal in a cup that tastes great and can be made in a hurry and keep you going,” said Weinstein, a Syosset native who lives in Palm Beach, Florida.
The 1,000-square-foot Massapequa Park location, planned for a former Checkers at 5075 Sunrise Hwy., would have a double drive-through. The franchisees still need to apply for a building permit from the town of Oyster Bay for the project, Weinstein said.
Chris Ferencsik, a real estate agent at Melville-based Schacker Realty, represented the Smoothie King franchise and the property sublessor, Brooklyn-based real estate firm J.W. Mays Inc., in the deal.
The local Smoothie King expansion falls in line with the company’s growth nationwide, as the chain plans to have 150 new stores in 2018 and it opened 96 last year, the vast majority of which are franchises, said Jamison Young, field marketing manager in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
There is no shortage of smoothie spots on Long Island — Tropical Smoothie Café has 18 locations and Jamba Juice, the biggest player in the industry, has seven on the Island — so it will be interesting to see how the competition shakes out.
I chatted with some restaurant experts about why the number of these drink spots is growing.
Last year, Smoothie King’s sales grew by 10.5 percent, said David Henkes, senior principal at Technomic Inc., a Chicago-based restaurant industry research firm.
“I think when you look at that category … Jamba Juice, Tropical Smoothie, Smoothie King — smoothies are very much on trend with what consumers are looking for. There is a perception of healthy,” he said.
Smoothie shops are more popular with younger consumers, and their franchising can be less costly than those of other types of restaurants because they are smaller, so rent is cheaper, and they don’t require cooking equipment, said Darren Tristano, chief executive officer of CHD-Expert Americas, the Chicago office of a France-based restaurant industry research group.
Retail Roundup is a new column about major retail news on Long Island — store openings, closings, expansions, acquisitions, etc. — that will be published online and in the Monday paper. If you have news to share, please send an email to Newsday reporter Tory N. Parrish at email@example.com.