Fast-growing beverage maker Smoothie King recently hired a new chief development officer to oversee the company’s expansion to 1,000 locations around the world. The Metairie-based company, currently operating about 790 stores, aims to open at least 100 more in the next year alone, according to a report by the New Orleans Advocate. The new stores will be a mix of company-owned and franchised locations and will include spaces inside hospitals, office buildings and airports, company officials said. International stores expected to open this year include locations in Dubai and Trinidad.
Founded in 1973 by Steve and Cindy Kuhnau, in 2012 Smoothie King’s owners sold a controlling interest in the Louisiana-based company to SK USA Inc., headed by CEO Wan Kim. As he continued to grow the company, Kim later purchased naming rights to the New Orleans Arena, which now is known as the Smoothie King Center.