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Goldfish Swim School (US) Announces International Expansion Plans

17 May 2017 - The exponential growth that Goldfish Swim School has experienced since the opening of their first franchise location in 2009 is continuing. The company recently announced plans to expand internationally as they prepare to open their first of multiple locations in Canada.

The franchise organization's proprietary systems, developed by Goldfish founders Jenny and Chris McCuiston, provide developmentally appropriate water safety and swimming lessons in a safe, child-friendly and fun environment. The Goldfish team prides itself on teaching children ages four months to 12 years to swim in a unique, tropical setting with highly trained and certified instructors, small class sizes, 90-degree pools and a state-of-the-art chlorine generation system.

This unique approach has attracted families and investors alike, including two former Tim Horton’s executives. After successful and prominent careers with Tim Horton’s, totaling almost 40 years combined, Mike Meilleur and Dave McKay chose to embark on a new journey as a result of the company being acquired in 2015.

Meilleur began that journey when his two children started taking swim lessons at a Goldfish location near the family’s home. “I was amazed at how well the business was run and the progress my children were making,” says Meilleur. “So I decided to investigate the business model and concept. A short time later, I opened my first Goldfish location in Dayton, Ohio.”

When Meilleur wanted to bring the experience to Canada, he knew partnering with other successful individuals would allow for his vision to become a reality. Meilleur discussed the idea with Jimmy Carson, former NHL pro and member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Erik Stamell, a highly successful entrepreneur in Michigan, and McKay, his former Tim Horton’s colleague. Meilleur felt the partnership would be effective given the diverse talents of the individuals.

Desiring to take a more entrepreneurial path, partnering with Meilleur to introduce the Goldfish brand to Canada was a perfect fit for McKay. Having resided in the Oakville / Burlington area for the past 25 years, McKay knew that Oakville would be a great community to open their first swim school.

With the team in place, the partners set up a meeting with Goldfish Swim School CEO and Co-Founder, Chris McCuiston, to review the growth opportunity.

“When the group approached us about expanding into Canada, we knew it was the right time and they were the right people,” says McCuiston, who founded the company with his wife, Jenny, a lifelong swimmer and decorated collegiate athlete at the University of Arizona, where she earned her degree in early childhood development & family studies. “Their extensive ties to the community and knowledge of the area coupled with their business and franchising experience made it an easy decision. Our goal from the beginning has been to create a fun, engaging environment where children can learn skills they will keep for a lifetime and we’re excited for the opportunity to share Goldfish with families in Ontario.”

“Building a business based on a valuable life lesson every child needs, in communities that I know and love, is a huge honour,” adds McKay. “This is the perfect next step in my career and I’m thrilled to get started on our first location in Oakville.”

Goldfish’s expansion plans in Canada include several locations franchised by Meilleur, McKay and their team. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 18, at 5pm EST at the site of the future Oakville facility, located at 1130 Eighth Line Road, Unit 17. Oakville Mayor Rob Burton is scheduled to attend, among other special guests. Goldfish Swim School – Oakville is slated to open in early fall 2017.

About Goldfish Swim School

Founded by husband and wife team, Jenny and Chris McCuiston, Goldfish Swim School provides swim lessons and water safety instruction to infants and children ages four months to 12 years. Classes are offered by specially trained instructors in a safe, child-friendly and fun environment. Goldfish currently teaches more than 70,000 students per week to swim and be safer in and around the water. Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, Goldfish Swim School was established in Birmingham, Michigan, in 2006 and opened its first franchise location in 2009. They are currently in the process of expanding franchise opportunities throughout North America, with over 65 schools open or in development in more than 23 states and Canada.



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