Community Leader Clement Troutman Shares his Lifetime of Service - Open for Opportunity

IFA was honored to welcome U.S. Navy veteran and Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchisee Clement Troutman to share his inspirational story to the IFA staff this August – following a visit to his cafe last summer. Troutman, who opened his Tropical Smoothie in Capitol Heights, MD about 7 years ago, gave up a Top Secret security clearance for the opportunity to sell smoothies – and he has never looked back. “Coming out of the Navy I was used to systems. Franchising appealed to me because it had a system,” he said.

He had many options when he was choosing his Maryland location, but he wanted to go somewhere where he could “do the maximum amount of good.” Troutman shared how he has kept a successful, family-run, business while prioritizing giving back to his community. He believes that “if you serve a need, you don’t have to sell it.” Troutman’s franchise quickly became one of the most successful in the nation. He had countless stories of regulars whose families he knows by name and whose lives have been impacted since the business came into the neighborhood.

He has managed to not just serve healthy beverages to a community in need, but also finds extra ways to give back, such as recently hosting over 2,000 people for a backpack drive as local students head back to school. His generous spirit is not without business acumen, as he also shared his leadership style, his teamwork-driven outlook or the “Dream Team” as he refers to his employees, and the decision-making skills he uses in his approach to business. It’s a people-first approach, as he says, “People move the product, the product doesn’t move the people.”

Troutman also shared how without the help of others, he would not be where he is today. “One thing I have learned [about] business is that if I listen to the right people, I can be successful.” A lot of the “right people” have been fellow Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchisees. He elaborated on how one of the many beautiful things about the franchise system is that all of the franchisees are on the same team. “Even though we are franchisees in different territories, we are not in competition with each other.”

Clement Troutman is Open for Opportunity, and we thank him for his lifetime of service!