Jarrod Johnson was ready for a new hobby, but chose to open a Smoothie King location instead.
Jarrod Johnson went to the Marines after high school in 1996 where he served for four years. After finishing high school, he wanted to attend culinary school but did not have the funds to do so. Four years later, he headed off to college. He attended the University of Houston while also patrolling for the Houston Police Department. Johnson eventually went on to grad school and continued to be a cop for eleven and a half years. 1851 caught up with Jarrod to learn how he got involved with Smoothie King.
What do you think is the most interesting thing about your background?
People think the fact that I was in the Marines is interesting. I thought I was just going to work, but other people think that’s really different. In the Marine Corp, I traveled a lot. While I was a cop, I met all walks of life and I was able to talk to a lot of people. With all of the news surrounding cops lately, I’m lucky to have been in similar situations but have them turn out differently for me.
How did you hear about Smoothie King and why did you choose to get involved?
I grew up on Smoothie King as a kid – there are a lot in Houston. They had one in the University of Houston, so I went to them while growing up. When my wife and I had to move to Rome for her job as a physician at the local hospital in 2013, I had to figure out what was next on my agenda. I had been working since I was 15 and when you stop working you have to find a hobby. I got very into cross fit and realized that this town could really use a Smoothie King – a healthy meal alternative.
My wife and I were talking about Smoothie King one night before bed, but I had fallen asleep shortly after our conversation. She stayed up and emailed the corporate team from my email inquiring about opening a location in Rome. Two weeks later, I got an email from Smoothie King asking if I was interested, and I was! I wanted to push the health benefits in the town and always thought it was a good product. It always blew my mind how it could taste so good but also be so healthy.
What ties do you have with your local community and how do you plan to serve the community with your new business?
I am looking into becoming a member of the Rome Chamber of Commerce. Rome is a huge sports town – it seems they have a different 5k going on every weekend. I am really excited about networking with people and working with the local high schools. I also have to make sure I take care of the local law enforcement. The town has already been asking me about it so I think a lot of people are excited for the store to be in Rome!
What’s next for you and your business?
I hope to get a couple more stores under by belt after this my wife and I have our baby. I know everyone in Rome is excited because the nearest store is an hour away. It’s a new market in Rome, so I think I can continue to grow the brand in the market.