Smoothie King stores coming to Manchester Expressway and Macon Road

Those health nuts looking for their daily blended fruit fix will soon have a couple of more options in Columbus.

Smoothie King locations are coming to 1625 Manchester Expressway and 3025 Macon Road this fall. Those outlets will join two local existing Smoothie King stores, one off Whittlesey Boulevard at Columbus Park Crossing and another inside Smith Fitness Center at Fort Benning.

“These are going to be free-standing. They’re really going to be set up for drive-thrus,” said Casey Carver, owner of Carver Contracting, the Columbus company that will be renovating existing structures at the two new Smoothie King locations. “We just got the (building) permits Friday. We’ve got a couple of months worth of work, that’s for sure.”

The Manchester Expressway location was formerly home to a Mexi...Go fast-food outlet, while the Macon Road site is a former Sun Ray Cleaners store directly across Macon Road from the main library and city services center. City building permits show Smoothie Ventures LLC is spending $325,000 combined on the two structural renovations.

Smoothie King is a New Orleans-based company founded in 1973 as a healthy alternative to fast food. Last week, it opened its 800th location in Orlando, Fla., with the firm having a goal of operating 1,000 outlets by the end of 2017. It operates in 33 states, as well as in South Korea and the Cayman Islands. In the first half of 2016, 44 new stores made their debut in 13 states, with the company reporting a 12.4 percent increase in sales at locations open for at least a year.

Various tasty fruits are a staple of the Smoothie King menu, which offers blended drinks under the categories of “fitness,” “slim,” “wellness” and “kids’ cups.” Its “take a break” blend includes concoctions with names that include passionfruit peach hydrator, banana berry treat, muscle punch, strawberry-kiwi breeze and pineapple pleasure. Carrots, kale, almonds, peanut butter and protein ingredients also are offered in some blends.