Celebrating a Decade of Good Health in Ave Maria

Phong Ho behind the counter at Tropical Smoothie in Ave Maria. (Submitted photo/Lewis Perkins)

Tomorrow, September, 15, Tropical Smoothie in Ave Maria, located at 5072 Annunciation Cir, Ave Maria, FL 34142 will celebrate its 10th year of being in business. During this anniversary celebration, Phong Ho, owner and local resident, will be offering $0.99 SMOOTHIES with any food purchase ALL DAY and cellphone pop-sides to all who purchase smoothies. (While supplies last). Come join this celebration as Tropical Smoothie has been a part of Ave Maria since its infancy. Tropical Smoothie has helped the community grow as they donate time and food to the church, volunteer for fund raisers, also raise money for the Donahue academy, a prominent a K-12 school located within the community. They also greatly support Immokalee sports programs and other non-profit organizations, they also support local sports program and recently gave an athletic sponsorship at the university. Also, they have a long time partnership with the Seminole Tribe of Immokalee.

Phong moved here from Vietnam in 1988, and graduated from Barron Collier High School in 1999. After college, Phong worked for Pulte Homes, the primary builder in Ave Maria. There, he found out that one of his high school friend’s fathers was head of the Barron Collier Companies. After meeting and talking to his friend’s father, Phong was convinced to be a pioneer in the new community. “My dad also wanted me to start my own venture so we put our thoughts together… We took a risk and came out here, (Ave Maria).”

Phong chose Tropical Smoothie, (A rapidly growing Florida based franchise), because “It was the only unique concept that included food as well…Without the food it would not have been as successful… A lot of the residents and visitors did not know what a smoothie was until they came here and ate the food… Something you can feel good about… It all comes down to taste and value.”

Phong owes his ten year success to hard work and continuous support from his family, community, Ave Maria Development, and intense focus on customer service, besides offering a new and healthy concept in the area people come from Immokalee and other cities, driving 15 – 20 miles, to visit Tropical Smoothie. Phong is renewing his lease next year and plans on staying around for the foreseeable future. “As long as I feel like I’m needed here and can make an impact on my local community I don’t have a any reason to leave.”

Lewis Perkins is special to the Immokalee Bulletin and can be reached at ibnews@newszap.com

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