From Customer to Store Owner: Franchisees to Know Rick Van Alphen
Van Alphen lost 45 pounds by exercising, eating better and drinking Smoothie King beverages
BY: CHRIS ZOIS
Content Producer - Smoothie King Contributor
There have been testimonials from numerous brands saying their customers lost weight eating their products. What better grassroots marketing do you need than a customer saying they ate a sandwich and slimmed down a few pants sizes? That is marketing gold! But for some brands, you can never tell which success stories are real or fake. For Smoothie King franchisee Rick Van Alphen, he is living proof this isn’t a gimmick.
Van Alphen, who runs a franchise in Orlando, said he lost 45 pounds by exercising regularly, moving to a low-calorie diet, and sipping on his favorite Smoothie King beverages—Muscle Punch being his favorite—while working at his franchise. He is one of Smoothie King’s #ChangeAMeal Challenge success stories. The brand’s annual challenge is a way to promote healthy habits by having its customers swap out one meal a day for a nutrient-packed smoothie. When coupled with regular exercise and healthy food choices, the challenge has helped dozens of customers shed pounds.
Simply getting a delicious Smoothie King product wasn’t enough to trim down—he said that he also had to change his lifestyle in order to lose weight. He said it took him eight months of drinking smoothies and improving his overall diet to get the job done.
Before opening his first franchise in Orlando, Van Alphen was a work-from-home travel agent, and he spent a lot of his days visiting prospective travelers. Being a road warrior can be an enticing part of working at a job, but any worker bee will tell you that when you are in the zone or bogged down by work at your job, you may grab some empty calories, as opposed to healthier options. Van Alphen said he was looking for quick fixes to suppress his appetite and wasn’t thinking about what was going into his body. This way of life started to weigh on Van Alphen, so he decided it was time for a change—he wanted to open his own Smoothie King franchise to help him out.
“I was a work-from-home travel agent and just kind of snacking throughout the day,” he said. “When we opened the store it was kind of a cross between nerves and the busyness of being a new business owner. It was easy to have a smoothie for breakfast and sometimes for lunch as well.”
Today, Van Alphen said he feels like a million bucks. He is no longer on cholesterol medicine and has more energy to assist him in keeping off the pounds and running his successful Smoothie King Franchise.