The Balanced Blend
Wan Kim is the owner and CEO of Smoothie King, based in New Orleans, La.
Kim’s first experience with Smoothie King was while studying at the University of California at Irvine in 2001. In 2003, after moving back to Seoul, Kim opened the first Smoothie King store outside of the United States. He found that Koreans loved what Smoothie King had to offer as much as he did. Kim proceeded to grow the Smoothie King Brand in South Korea to currently more than 130 locations.
In July of 2012, a company Kim created, with backing from Standard Chartered Private Equity and National Pension service of the Republic of Korea, bought Smoothie King from Steve Kuhnau, who had founded the company in New Orleans 39 years earlier. Kuhnau had wanted to solve his chronic food allergies by creating smoothies full of vitamins, nutrients, minerals and fruit. Kuhnau knew he was passing the company over to someone who shared his passion for the Smoothie King brand. Something that drew Kim to Smoothie King all those years ago was what the company stood for: a healthy alternative to fast food.
Smoothie King has potential for tremendous growth in the United States, Korea and other international markets. Smoothie King is now operating more than 800 stores around the world and under Kim’s leadership is expanding aggressively in the U.S., Korea, Cayman Islands and the Middle East.