In the 1980's, Kevin Blackwell and his wife Kathryn established a smoothie and juice bar concept, which is known today as Surf City Squeeze®. An accomplished tri-athlete and entrepreneur, Kevin saw great potential and profits in offering nutritious fruit smoothies and energizing sports drinks. It soon became clear that Kevin’s wild dream could become a reality. Over the years, that dream has driven exponentially positive growth for Kahala and our franchise community. In just a few short years, support staff has risen from less than 50 employees to more than 250. The number of locations has risen from hundreds to thousands. Kahala also contracts more than 1,000 products to protect our franchisees’ purchasing power.
We think this is only the beginning.
The future looks bright at Kahala. But we know that our future lies in the success of our franchisees. That’s why as Kahala grows, we capitalize on new channels of distribution, new products and new services that support our franchisees across our family of brands.
The year it all began! Kevin Blackwell and his wife Kathryn establish the smoothie and juice bar concept later to be named Surf City Squeeze. An accomplished tri-athlete and entrepreneur, Mr. Blackwell sees great potential and profits in offering nutritious fruit smoothies and energizing sports drinks.
Surf City Squeeze sells its first international development agreement in Canada and a second agreement is sold in the Middle East.
Frullati Cafe & Bakery chain, recognized for serving a fresh and wholesome menu that consumers desire, is purchased, giving the company its second restaurant concept and bringing the total number of locations to 200.
Mr. Blackwell officially announces the name of his company, Kahala. The name, Kahala, originates from visits to a favorite beach in Hawaii where Chairman and CEO, Mr. Blackwell, enjoys surfing, relaxing and rejuvenating. Also in 2000, Kahala develops the Rollerz brand, a fresh twist on fast food that offers a unique alternative to the traditional sub sandwich. The new concept brings the total number of Kahala’s quick-service restaurant concepts to three.
Kahala sells multiple development agreements across the United States for its three restaurant brands and overall restaurant count grows to 250.
Kahala purchases Ranch 1 Grilled Chicken, a concept specializing in freshly grilled, marinated chicken menu items. The acquisition brings Kahala’s number of restaurant concepts to four and overall units grow to more than 300 locations.
Kahala purchases the Samurai Sam’s Teriyaki Grill concept, known for a menu full of Japanese favorites prepared with sheer simplicity, and is the company’s fifth restaurant concept, bringing total unit count to more than 350 locations.
Kahala purchases the TacoTime chain, which offers a variety of freshly-prepared, home style Mexican fare, and is the company’s sixth restaurant concept boosting unit count to more than 650 locations worldwide. This acquisition diversifies Kahala’s real estate as the majority of TacoTime locations are on pad sites versus shopping malls, strip centers, and health clubs.
Kahala purchases the Great Steak & Potato chain, serving the finest cheese steak sandwiches, while giving the company its seventh restaurant concept. Overall unit count reaches more than 1,000 locations. Co-branding Kahala’s concepts becomes incredibly popular and the first TacoTime/Samurai Sam’s/Surf City Squeeze tri-brand opens in Lincoln City, OR Kahala also acquires the license to Wafflo giving the company its eighth concept.
Kahala rolls out extensive brand revitalization initiatives for Frullati Cafe & Bakery, Samurai Sam’s Teriyaki Grill, and Surf City Squeeze. Key elements of each initiative include new logos and signage, menu revitalization, menu boards, and facilities décor.
Kahala acquires Johnnie’s NY Pizzeria, a fast casual pizza and pasta chain based in Los Angeles, CA. In 2006, Kahala also acquires Blimpie, the third largest sub-sandwich chain in the U.S. and is the tenth brand now franchised by Kahala.
Kahala purchases the remaining Blimpie locations from Blimpie International.
Kahala acquires Cold Stone Creamery, the third largest ice cream concept in the U.S., bringing Kahala’s unit count to nearly 4,000 locations worldwide.
Kahala acquires Cereality Cereal Bar & Café, a first of its kind concept that celebrates one of Americans’ favorite and deeply rooted food rituals.
With more than $1 billion in system-wide sales, Kahala focuses on its goal to be the largest franchise company in the world by being the best franchisor in the industry, all while staying true to the company’s top priorities – franchisee success and profitability.
Kahala purchases America’s Taco Shop, a concept specializing in authentic meals prepared daily with fresh ingredients, premium products and regional spices and marinades. Also in 2011, Kahala develops the Pizza Fresh brand, a take-n-bake pizza concept serving delicious pizzas prepared with fresh ingredients and homemade dough.