Little Kitchen Academy (Canada) Announces Global Expansion Plans
02 Jun 2020 - Little Kitchen Academy (LKA), the first-of-its-kind, Montessori-inspired cooking academy for children ages three through teen, today announced global expansion plans with intent to open first U.S. location in Los Angeles.
This news comes on the heels of announcing its first franchise deal, its first multi-unit franchise deal, and its slate of global brand partners including: Iron Chef Cat Cora, AeroGarden, BIRKENSTOCK, ChefWorks, Emeco, ChopValue, Welcome Industries, and Location3.
“We struck a very positive chord by filling a need with a great product and quickly built a huge amount of interest and following with our first location opening last year in Canada. As our world opens up post-pandemic, the relevancy of teaching practical life skills has never been stronger. Starting as early as age three, we teach the importance of proper hand washing, surface sanitizing, and keeping individual stations meticulously clean. Our unique kitchen design also provides safe physical distancing -- an important health measure as kids get back together. With all of this, we feel a great need to bring LKA to every community,” said CEO and Co-founder Brian Curin. “We believe that by empowering children with practical life skills and knowledge in a positive and joyful environment we will affect positive lifestyle changes that result in a healthier world, which is needed now, more than ever.”
Little Kitchen Academy is currently seeking multi-unit franchisees and development partners for the following areas:
• Canada (single and multi-unit franchisees nationally, area development and area representative opportunity Ontario, Alberta, Quebec)
• United States (single and multi-unit franchisees nationally with a focus on California, Arizona, Florida, Washington and Oregon, area development and area representative opportunity in Florida, Arizona and California)
• China (master franchisee opportunity)
• U.K. & England (master franchisee opportunity)
• India (master franchisee opportunity)
• MENA Region & Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (master franchisee opportunity)
• Mexico (master franchisee opportunity)
• Australia (master franchisee opportunity)
To show just how serious the company is about its expansion, it has committed to opening a corporate-owned flagship U.S. location in Los Angeles, Calif., later this year simultaneous with trying to close its first franchise deal in the state. Little Kitchen Academy – Los Angeles will serve as a training center and aid in seeding the very important California market for the company.
“I’m so excited to see the LKA concept come to my backyard for Southern Californian families to experience,” said Iron Chef Cat Cora, Little Kitchen Academy advisory board member, brand ambassador, and partner. “I’m all about family, food philanthropy and love, and LKA is such a needed concept with a strong social mission. Our core values are so aligned, and I know our collective passion, experience and commitment will make this idea a global success.”
“We are taking an almost surgical approach to where we want to develop and, more importantly, with the type of partners we are seeking,” continued Curin. “We truly believe that bringing an LKA to a community brings positive social impact, and we will only grow with like-minded people who share our passion for making and leaving the world a better place.” Curin is recognized as a global franchise authority, branding expert, and serial entrepreneur having grown and led several Inc. 500|5000 companies and built some of the most exciting brands globally including Flip Flop Shops, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Cold Stone Creamery. “California is a key market for us, and that is why we have chosen Newport Beach-based Location3 as our global site selection and real estate partner,” said Curin. “With its solid reputation and proven track record in finding great locations throughout North America and Europe, and working with some of the most notable concepts in the market, Location3 has a well-deserved seat at our table.”
“Now more than ever the world needs hope for a brighter future. Little Kitchen Academy’s goal of empowering children with practical life skills in a positive environment resulting in a healthier world is in complete alignment with how Location3’s partners approach life,” said Mark Blancarte and Ruth Jolley, founders and principals of Location3. “LKA is one of the most unique, compelling, and much-needed concepts we have seen in decades, and we are both excited and honored to be LKA’s global real estate partner.”
Little Kitchen Academy empowers children with practical life skills and teaches the joy of making healthy food choices in an inclusive and modern kitchen environment, complete with 10 individual cooking stations (aka Little Kitchens), each with its own oven, cooktop, sink, prep table, Kitchen Aid mixer, and all the equipment and utensils needed to make “from scratch” creations. Sessions run year-round and focus on seasonal, locally grown and organic produce and ingredients. Classes run three hours each and are taught by age group by three instructors, who can host up to 10 students per class. The learning begins as soon as students enter the “for student chefs only” environment. Each student dons a chef coat and a fitted pair of BIRKENSTOCK kitchen shoes to begin their personalized cooking journey, which includes experimenting with math and science concepts; testing one’s reading skills; learning social etiquette and table manners while enjoying a meal together; learning sustainable decision making as students learn about local, in-season, and organic produce; and sharing the fruits of their labor by dining together at the end of every lesson at the community table. For older students, Little Kitchen Academy offers LKA Late Nights on the weekend customized for teens.