In 2015, life came to a halt for Miguel Rodriguez and his wife, Anna.
Earlier that year, Rodriguez’s 30-year-old sister-in-law had passed away from cancer. His brother and their two children were left reeling, and over the next two months, Rodriguez helped them cope with the tragedy.
Then, in March, Rodriguez and his wife were traveling home when they were involved in a head-on collision. The accident left him disabled for three months, and he suffered from a broken back, herniated discs, bruised ribs and sprained shoulders. His wife was left with bruised ribs. Despite the adversity thrown his way, Rodriguez never lost sight of the most important task at hand: he was determined to open his second Smoothie King location in Texas.
Rodriguez has been a Smoothie King franchisee since 2007, when he opened his first location in Laredo, Texas. As the owner of two Crunch Fitness locations at the time, Rodriguez was already backed by franchising experience and a deep understanding of what it means to be an ambassador for a healthy lifestyle brand. But when the recession hit, sales slowed, and Rodriguez had no choice but to research newer, more promising locations in hopes of injecting new life into his struggling business.
“In July 2007, we made the decision to invest in Smoothie King—a brand Anna and I believed in not just on a business level, but on a very personal one as well. Smoothie King is the kind of company that you can feel proud of backing every single day,” Rodriguez said. “But the problem was, we opened our first store in a bad location, and right off the bat, sales were slow. What we knew for certain was that we weren’t willing to give up, so we began looking into new locations to move our business.”
Rodriguez eventually found a building for sale that included a drive-thru—this would eventually become the new home for his first Smoothie King business. And by the end of 2015, Rodriguez’s hard work began to pay off.
Armed with the knowledge of what makes a good location, Rodriguez was confident about one thing: he would never settle for a bad location again, no matter the price. So in 2013, when he made the decision to reinvest in Smoothie King and open his second location, he was careful and thoughtful in his research. But he quickly found that good real estate was hard to come by. The majority of 2013 was spent going back and forth with landlords, only to have deals fall through.
“We wanted our new location to be perfect, but things got discouraging. That’s when we found more than two acres of land, and I decided to develop a third Crunch Fitness location with a self-standing Smoothie King in front—it was a way to combine both of my passions to better serve the community,” Rodriguez said.
The site was approved, and Rodriguez began the negotiation process. That’s when tragedy struck his family, and development was put on hold. But Rodriguez wasn’t one to easily give up.
“I started making a quick recovery, and I worked hard every day to get back into my daily routine as much as I could. I knew my deadline was approaching to lock down a location for our second Smoothie King, and I wasn’t willing to let the opportunity pass me by,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez is a man of his word. In June 2016, despite all of the obstacles thrown his way, he officially opened the doors to his second Smoothie King location in Laredo, Texas—proving that passion and drive can truly go a long way.
“The past few years have been filled with a lot of ups and downs, and through it all, Smoothie King helped to serve as an anchor and inspiration to keep pushing me forward even in the darkest moments. I’m so excited to begin this new chapter of my life,” Rodriguez said.