UNIVERSITY PARK -- The Smoothie King coming to the new Mall at University Town Center next year won't look much like other Smoothie King locations that customers in Bradenton and Sarasota are familiar with.
There's a new company logo, for one thing, and a new color scheme. And the 900-square-foot space inside the luxury mall is part of a new prototype design Smoothie King is rolling out in a few spots around the country.
"It'll be completely different than any other Smoothie King," said Richard Leveille, the company's vice president of franchise development.
The design hasn't been unveiled yet, but patrons can expect a smaller variety of retail products, Leveille said. And the new store will be one of just a handful of company-owned Smoothie Kings -- there will only be 11 by year's end -- all in the South Florida and Texas markets.
Most of the company's more than 650 locations in the United States, Korea, Singapore and the Caymans are franchises, but hundreds more are planned as part of a global expansion plan.
There are four Smoothie King franchise locations already in Manatee County -- on Manatee Avenue West, 53rd Avenue West and 34th Street West in Bradenton and on State Road 70 in East Manatee -- and three more
in Sarasota County.
Leveille said those franchises' strong performances were one reason the company picked the University Park area for a new store.
"We have fantastic franchises in the marketplace," he said. "They do a great job of upholding the brand."
David Cotrone, who owns three Smoothie King franchises in Bradenton, said the new location could be a boost for his business.
"I think the new mall at University Town Center is a great fit for us and our awesome brand," he said. "It's very exciting to see the Smoothie King brand growing in this area."
Previous dealings with Taubman, developing partner for the Mall at University Town Center with Benderson Development, and the expected growth and traffic in the area around University Parkway and Interstate 75, also piqued the company's interest.
"That particular corner is an extremely hot corner," Leveille said.
The first Smoothie King opened in 1973. The Louisiana-based company specializes in nutritional, fresh blended smoothies, energy bars, vitamin supplements and other sports nutrition products.
In 2013, the franchise was ranked No. 1 in the juice bar category by Entrepreneur magazine for the 19th straight year.
Smoothie King is the latest confirmed tenant for the new $315 million mall, a list that also includes:
Saks Fifth Avenue
Brio Tuscan Grille
American Eagle Outfitters
The new Smoothie King is expected to open Nov. 16, 2014, about a month after the mall's opening.
Representatives of Taubman could not be reached for comment.
Jason Bartolone, East Manatee Editor, can be reached at 941-745-7011. Follow him on Twitter @JasonBartolone.