A former Carolina Panthers player has opened a Tropical Smoothie Café franchise in the Metropolitan shopping center near uptown Charlotte.
Everette Brown, a defensive end, was drafted in 2009 by the Carolina Panthers. Brown now plays for the Dallas Cowboys. So far this season, he has six tackles and a sack.
The Tropical Smoothie Café, the first in Charlotte, opened Nov. 25. Brown said he first ate at one of the restaurants when he was playing at Florida State University.
"As an athlete, I understand the importance of eating healthy, which is why I've been a big fan of Tropical Smoothie Cafe since my college ball days," said Brown, a Greenville native, in a statement. "I'm excited to share the healthier food and delicious smoothies with the active community in Charlotte. My fiancé and I have made Charlotte our home base, and of course I lived here while playing for the Panthers, so opening this restaurant was extra special for me."
Tropical Smoothie Café positions itself as a "healthy food with a tropical twist" brand. The company is planning to add 53 sites to its current roster of 357 stores next year, with up to 15 in Charlotte. On average, a location does more than $500,000 a year in business, the company said.
"Tropical Smoothie Cafe wants to partner with franchisees who believe in our 'eat better, feel better' mantra, and who better matches that profile than Everette Brown, an active NFL player?" said Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café, in a statement. "We are confident consumers in Charlotte will enjoy our better-for-you options, and we look forward to growing our brand presence here in the years to come."
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