Kahala Brands on Tuesday said it has acquired Maui Wowi, giving the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based franchisor its 17th brand and its fourth smoothie brand. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Denver-based Maui Wowi serves coffee and smoothies from 400 mobile carts and 29 standalone units and has 200 franchisees. Kahala operates smoothie chains NrGize Lifestyle Café, Surf City Squeeze and Planet Smoothie.
“Maui Wowi is a perfect addition to our family of smoothie brands and our portfolio of concepts as a whole,” Michael Serruya, CEO of Kahala, said in a statement. “This purchase expands our smoothie footprint to more than 800 locations and allows us to be part of such a fun concept and fantastic food and flavor profile, where we can bring the great tastes of Hawaii to the mainland and around the world.”
Jeff and Jill Summerhays founded Maui Wowi in Salt Lake City in 1982 when the couple, frequent visitors to Hawaii, wanted to bring smoothies from that state to the mainland. The company began franchising in 1997 and six years later added espresso and cappuccino drinks as well as gourmet coffees.
Kahala will consolidate Maui Wowi’s corporate operations and run the franchising platform from its Scottsdale headquarters.
Kahala appears to be on an acquisition spree under the Serruya family, the owners of the Canadian yogurt chain Yogen Früz that bought the franchisor in 2013. In June, Kahala acquired Planet Smoothie and Tasti D-Lite.
The company now has 17 quick-service brands with about 2,700 locations, including Cold Stone Creamery, Blimpie, Taco Time, Samurai Sam’s Teriyaki Grill, the Great Steak & Potato Company, Frullati Café & Bakery, Rollerz, Ranch One, America’s Taco Shop, Johnnie’s New York Pizzeria and Cereality.
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