Smoothie King was founded in 1973 in Kenner, Louisiana, by Steve Kuhnau. While working at an ice cream shop, Kuhnau discovered he was unable to enjoy the milk shakes and other treats because he was lactose intolerant. This inspired him to create similar items using fruit juice and frozen fruit that anyone could enjoy.
Today, the company has more than 600 franchised locations. Kuhnau sold the business to current CEO Wan Kim and Standard Chartered bank. Smoothie King has been named the #1 franchise by Entrepreneur magazine more than 17 times since it began operations.
Smoothie King had annual revenue in 2014 of $160 million. The company began international franchising with the first location opening in South Korea in 2003.