Smoothie King

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Smoothie King Franchises, Inc.
Founded1973; 46 years ago (1973)
FoundersSteve and Cindy Kuhnau
HeadquartersCoppell, Texas,
Number of locations
950 worldwide[1]
Key people
Wan Kim, CEO
Rebecca Miller CMO[2]
Dan Harmon COO[3]
ParentSK UA Inc. (Smoothie King UA Inc.)

Smoothie King Franchises, Inc. is an American privately held Dallas-area-based smoothie franchise company with more than 900 units worldwide.[4]


A Smoothie King at the University of Houston

Working as a soda jerker in his teenage years, Steve Kuhnau, founder of Smoothie King, found himself unable to digest the malts, shakes, and floats he was preparing due to a lactose intolerance. Consequently, he formulated a smoothie in his kitchen as an alternative to other ice cream-based drinks of the era. Shortly after his first store opened in Kenner, Louisiana, in 1973, other stores opened in the New Orleans metropolitan area, and subsequently in Washington, D.C. and 32 other states. Kuhnau began to franchise the Smoothie King name and business in 1989.[5] Smoothie King's 30th anniversary, in 2003, was commemorated with their first international franchise, in South Korea.[5]

Former logo used until 2013

In July 2012, Steve and Cindy Kuhnau sold the company to Smoothie King's South Korean franchisee Wan Kim and Standard Chartered. Kim borrowed $58 million from Standard Chartered.[6] In November, the company announced that it would move its headquarters from Covington, Louisiana, to Metairie, in Jefferson Parish, near the company's first store in Kenner. The company cited a $2.4 million promised incentive from the Louisiana Department of Economic Development for its decision to stay in the state.[7]


On February 5, 2014, the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association announced that they had reached a 10-year sponsorship agreement to rename the New Orleans Arena as Smoothie King Center. The arena had been one of only three NBA arenas without a naming rights sponsor. Smoothie King owner Wan Kim said the deal would allow the company to show its commitment to New Orleans while also promoting its brand worldwide.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our Purpose : Smoothie King". Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  2. ^ Ruggless, Ron (March 6, 2019). "Smoothie King names new marketing chief". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  3. ^ "Dan Harmon Chief Operating Officer at Smoothie King (SKFI)". Linkedin. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  4. ^ Henderson, Tracy (May 1, 2018). "Smoothie King Continues Record-Breaking Momentum In 2018". Cision. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Company Search - Company Information - Hoovers Company Profiles - D&B Hoovers - Companies & Details -". Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  6. ^ Carol Tice, "Flush With Cash, a Chain's New CEO Plots Smoothie Domination", Forbes, November 5, 2012.
  7. ^ Drew Broach, "Smoothie King takes $2.4 million state sweetener to move to Metairie", Times-Picayune, November 20, 2012.
  8. ^ "Pelicans will play in Smoothie King Center", Associated Press in USA Today, February 6, 2014.

Further reading[edit]

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