When David Lopez announced he was opening a smoothie store with a $20,000 student loan, his family told him he was "nuts." But now Lopez has franchised 30 Froots Smoothie locations, while another 72 have been sold and plans are in the works to open another 500 or more franchises over the next five years, he said. Franchises in general expanded at an average of 4% in 2006, according to a study from the International Franchise Association and FRANdata.

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