Retail Roundup: Smoothie King to open at Towers; Some consumers are hungry for Thanksgiving Day shopping
Smoothie King, a New Orleans-based franchise, is opening next month at Towers Shopping Center.
Roanoke residents Rocky and Cindy Starleigh hope to open the smoothie shop in mid- to late December on the lower level next to Petco.
The Starleighs are the former owners of Winston Cleaners at Ridgewood Farms in Salem. They recently sold the family business to Rocky’s brother and are using the money from the sale, and a loan from Valley Bank, to finance the smoothie shop. Rocky Starleigh declined to say how much he has invested in opening the business.
He said he and his wife decided to open the smoothie shop because they wanted to operate a “fast service” business that was nutritional. Starleigh grew up in Louisiana and was familiar with the Smoothie King brand from going there as a child, he said.
The shop will offer 92 different smoothies that can serve as a meal replacement if enhanced with additives such as fiber and whey protein, Starleigh said. Probiotics, caffeine and vitamins can also be added.
The smoothies are made with real fruit and natural juices. Prices range from $4 for a small smoothie to $8 for a large smoothie.
Starleigh said he chose Towers Shopping Center because he thought other businesses there - Fresh Market, GNC and Planet Fitness - would complement his store.
Entrepreneur magazine this year ranked Smoothie King No. 122 out of 500 for the top franchises, and No. 100 out of 200 for the top global franchises. Smoothie King has more than 640 stores. The closest store to Roanoke is in Lynchburg.
Also in the column is more information about Black Friday – or rather Black Thursday – shopping hours, and why retailers are opening earlier than ever. I’ll have a more comprehensive shopping guide posted on the blog Wednesday. You might also want to check out these Black Friday shopping tips on Rebecca Holland’s Shoptimist blog.