another Planet Living location at the Peach shopping center on Peachtree Road in Buckhead.
From what I gathered, the Ansley Mall location has been closed for a few days and still has all of its machinery and furniture inside. Basically, it looks like it's just closed temporarily, but as you can see from the photo, the closure seems more permanent. The Peach Planet Living converted back to simply Planet Smoothie some months ago. The Peach location is a corporately owned store, and is often the test store for new products and concept tweaks. Previously it was also known as Planet Smoothie Cafe, a concept that offered more food options like paninis and oatmeal in addition to the standard smoothie options.
Planet Smoothie was the first of many fast casual chains started by Martin Sprock. Sprock's Raving Brands, now known as Big Game Brands, launched Planet Smoothie along with Moe's Southwest Grill, Mama Fu's Asian House, Doc Green's Gourmet Salads & Grill and either launched or expanded a total of about ten brands over the years. Some, like Doc Green's or Bonehead's, have proven less successful than the likes of Moe's or Planet Smoothie. Moe's was sold to Atlanta based FOCUS Brands in 2007 and Planet Smoothie, along with Shane's Rib Shack, were sold to Edmonds Capital LLC in 2009 and are operated under the holding company Petrus Brands.
This past December, Atlanta-based Petrus Brands sold Planet Smoothie to Franklin, Tennessee-based Tasty D-Lite. It's unclear what "circumstances" led to the closure of the Ansley Mall location but perhaps it will become one of the dual-branded located mentioned at the time of the merger.
It seems like former Planet Smoothies are all over Atlanta, more than any other current or former Raving Brand. Former locations that come to mind include one in Loehmann's Plaza that is currently a Great Clips salon. Perimeter Mall's current Orange Julius was previously a Planet Smoothie, as was Gwinett Place Mall's current Smoothie Corner. Cambridge Square shopping center on Ashford Dunwoody Road previously housed a Planet Smoothie, and in its place now has a Rita's franchise. On Highland Avenue, around the corner from Hand in Hand, the Innocence Project was for a short time located in a former Planet Smoothie. Cami Cakes in south Buckhead on Peachtree Road is another former Planet Smoothie, as is the current Menchie's at West Paces Ferry Road and Northside Drive. Planet Smoothie also had a location within the BP gas station at Satellite Boulevard and Duluth Highway that has long since closed, but ironically, a new Planet Smoothie opened in a shopping center across the street from the BP.
Current Cowlick's Yogurt & Floats in Vinings and Dunwoody were both previously Planet Smoothie locations. In case you missed it, Cowlick's was opened last year by Big Game Brands and is hawking the same yogurt (YoCream) that was available at Planet Living and is also available at Yogli Mogli, and now RaceTrac, too. A little late to the yogurt game, Cowlick's more closely resembles the epic failure that was Doc Green's than the success that was Moe's.
Are you a smoothie fan and appreciated the healthier offerings of Planet Living? Do you prefer Smoothie King or another smoothie joint? Do you remember the Jamba Juice that opened as a part of Whole Foods Sandy Springs and want Jamba to return to the market? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.