BRADENTON — A Manatee County couple who opened two Smoothie King franchises in the early stages of the recession, in 2007 and 2008, has been named Franchisee of the Year by the national chain.
Smoothie King Franchises Inc., according to a release, recognized David and Dawn Cotrone, along with their son, David Cotrone Jr., for their exceptional operations, sales and contributions to the Smoothie King brand. The Cotrones received the award at the Smoothie King annual conference in New Orleans.
“This recognition is a huge honor for our family and I am very proud of our dedicated team for its hard work,” David Cotrone Sr. says in the release. “Smoothie King has done an outstanding job of delivering high-quality products, while continuing to evolve the brand through a new store design and exciting product pipeline, further positioning it as a leader in the competitive smoothie industry.
The Cotrones now have three Smoothie King locations in the Bradenton area market, with plans to open a fourth store with a drive-thru in 2015. David and Dawn Cotrone moved to Florida from Long Island, N.Y., in 2000, when their two young sons played tennis at IMG Academy. David Cotrone had been in sales and insurance in New York. The investment to open the first two stores, one on 53rd Avenue West and Manatee Avenue, cost more than $500,000 in personal savings and loans.
There are currently more than 500 Smoothie King stores in the U.S. The company plans to add more than 900 new franchised and corporate locations over the next four years, in markets that include Tampa, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. The firm also has ambitious national expansion plans.