National Fast Casual Brand
Tropical Smoothie Cafe
Investment Date: August, 2012
(Exited September 2020)
Tropical Smoothie Café is a quick-casual restaurant serving both food and smoothies. It is a brand built on the belief that superior, simple ingredients including real fruits and veggies just taste better, a belief that extends both to its smoothies, and to a food menu that includes wraps, flat breads, pressed sandwiches and salads. The breadth of menu allows the brand to participate in all dayparts, and to be ideal for snacking.
Tropical Smoothie Café was born on a beach in Destin, Florida in 1997. During our investment, Tropical Smoothie Café grew from 275 Cafes to over 850 locations in 44 states, with 2,000 projected openings by 2025. Tropical Smoothie Cafe was ranked by National Restaurant News as the 5th fastest growing restaurant chain in America, and #1 in Smoothie/Juice category in 2022 Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500. Post exit, Tropical Smoothie Café continues to have phenomenal success and is currently 1200 units with an average unit volume over $1M.
Projected openings by 2025
US states with Tropical Smoothie Cafes
Average unit volume
Eric Jenrich and David Walker, Co-Founders
Eric Jenrich and David Walker founded Tropical Smoothie Franchise Development Corp. in 1997. By 2006, Tropical Smoothie Café opened its 200th location in Virginia Beach, VA. In 2012, BIP Capital, led by Scott Pressly, acquired a controlling interest in Tropical Smoothie Café. In September 2020, Tropical Smoothie Café was sold to Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.
Until exit, Eric and David remained highly active in decision making at Tropical Smoothie Café through their membership of the Board and as active shareholders.