Two decades ago, Houston native Dave McMahon was a stock broker who spent most of his free time playing pick-up basketball with friends. He’ll tell you that it was one of those recreational basketball games that first introduced him to Smoothie King—a brand that would ultimately change the entire course of his life.
A friend said they should grab a smoothie afterwards. At the time, there were four Smoothie Kings
in Houston, and McMahon had never been to one. In fact, he didn’t even know that places like Smoothie King existed.
“I ordered a Super Punch Plus. About half way through the smoothie I was amazed. I felt better and it tasted awesome. I started going back every day for a week.”
As an athlete, Dave gravitated towards the concept of ‘Smoothies with a Purpose.’ He loved the idea that a smoothie could get you the electrolytes and nutrients needed to replenish your body. So he began researching the company and speaking with local owners. In 1996, he opened his first location.
Fast forward twenty years and Dave is the "king" of Smoothie King in his hometown. Today, he owns and operates 27 Smoothie Kings
in the Houston area and soon he is hoping to reach a total of 30 units.
McMahon credits much of his success to the scalable growth that Smoothie King offers.
“The one mistake most people make when they grow from one to two units to several is building up an infrastructure too quickly. They hire a secretary, an accountant and big office space and then the overhead costs do them in,” McMahon explained. “Slow growth has been key for me. Once I got to four units, I brought in a team to help me grow slowly.”
But when it comes to admitting the biggest challenge of owning and operating nearly 30 retail spaces, McMahon said it is all about finding a team that you can rely on.
“You can’t grow without a great team because you can only be in one place at a time. I made a decision early on to treat my management team well so they’ve stayed with me a long time. I’ve been lucky to have people with me for 15 or 16 years.”
So what keeps McMahon motivated as he continues to expand his smoothie empire?
“It just comes down to having a passion for what I do. At this point, my biggest enjoyment is finding the next big location. I really love the hunt to find a new location.”