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Ray and Joy Howell were searching. They had jobs and in fact Ray already owned seven auto repair establishments but neither felt fulfilled. Ray’s son Andrew was looking for a career change as well, so father-&-son attended a large franchising show in Orlando where they discovered Tropical Smoothie. “In the back of my mind I thought about Joy, who has her degree in Food Services and Culinary Arts. When we returned, we discussed not only Tropical Smoothie in Orlando, but the Southwest Florida market was immediately available and that meant moving. Since Joy is a Californian and West Coast girl this was a prime concern.” 56 Innovative Health Magazine Excited by entering the culinary profession, Joy and Ray visited Lee County and loved it, making the decision easy. “To say we hopped in completely is an understatement,” laughs Joy. “We were in discussions in August 2013, had the contract by September, moved here that November, and one month later opened our first location. This is heaven and we have no regrets!” Expansion followed rapidly, with Naples in January 2014, Six Mile Cypress Parkway in Fort Myers that September, Cape Coral in December 2014, and the latest on Boyscout in February 2015, with six more in the planning stages between Sarasota and Fort Myers. Joy and Ray made a conscious decision to join the Tropical Smoothie family because of its strong emphasis on healthy menu options. “My dad had 5 heart attacks and 9 bypasses, starting at a young age,” Ray reflects wistfully. “As a result health is of huge importance to me – I still have the same waist size I had in high school. Our customers are also our guests, and I did not want to feed them a terrible diet that was bad for them and I would not eat or feed to my family. Tropical Smoothie’s emphasis on fresh ingredients, and its beneficial smoothies appealed to my lifestyle philosophy.” The secret to those delicious smoothies is the fresh-filtered water used as the base, combined with a mind-boggling combination of fruit, vegetables, and nutritional supplements. “What surprises people is our food has the same qualities of freshness and healthiness,” Ray states. “Tropical Smoothie just underwent its first significant menu renovation in years and really emphasizes these options. We dice our honey citrus fruit medley fresh all day.” Joy says the Island Green and Avocolada Smoothies are top sellers, while food favorites include the Chipotle Chicken Club Flatbread and Thai Chicken Wrap. “The Avocolada Smoothie was a limited time offering that T R O P I C A L S M O O T H I E SMOOTH!


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