The national smoothie and juice bar franchise Robeks plans to expand its footprint in Ohio.
The smoothie franchise’s first store opened in Cleveland in 2004, and the brand expanded into surrounding areas, including Akron and Canton, before the recession hit in 2007. Robeks stopped growing then to focus on helping franchise owners cope. It still has 10 franchise locations in northeast Ohio.
With the economy growing again, and a series of successful menu additions, Robeks is ready to resume its growth.
“Northeast Ohio has been a fantastic market for Robeks,” said Dan Stanowick, regional director for Robeks. “We’ve been able to define the market for smoothies by coming in with something new and healthy and cool.”
Stanowick, who opened the first Robeks store in Ohio, cited good news from economic indicators: The national unemployment rate is down 1.5 percent from this time in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Housing prices are rising, according to S&P’s Case-Shiller index; and consumer confidence is growing, according to the Ohio Office of Budget and Management.
Nationwide smoothie sales doubled from 2007 to 2011, reaching $2.4 billion, and sales are continuing to grow.
“Robeks has a delicious menu that emphasizes nutrition,” said Robeks president and chief executive officer Steve Davidson. “Robeks smoothies and juices don’t just taste good, they are good. We’ve succeeded in Ohio by delighting customers and winning their trust.”
This year, Robeks has added green smoothies, fresh green vegetable juices and Greek yogurt smoothies to make its menu even healthier, and systemwide sales have grown.