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Little Kitchen Academy – The Key Ingredient for An Independent Child – Announces First U.S. Area Development Deal for 20 Locations Across Colorado

Two of Goldfish Swim School’s Largest and Most Successful Franchise Partners Will Open 20 Little Kitchen Academy Locations Throughout the State of Colorado

Today Little Kitchen Academy (LKA) announced it has signed a deal for 20 locations to be developed in the state of Colorado, the company’s first U.S. Area Development deal. This announcement is the next step in the company’s growth in the U.S. market following the opening of its first location in the country – its U.S. flagship in Los Angeles, Calif., at Westfield Century City in August 2021 – and the upcoming opening of its first U.S. franchise location in Portland, Ore., in spring 2022. Scott Payne and Keith Lublin will be the Area Developers for Colorado. Payne and Lublin have extensive experience in the franchise world and in providing practical life skills to the next generation. Together, they are one of Goldfish Swim School’s (GSS) largest and most successful owners, with seven locations open in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Colorado. In addition to partnering with Payne on owning and operating locations for both LKA and GSS, Lublin is the vice president of commercial banking for Level One Bank. With the announcement of 20 new locations, LKA currently has 140 locations in development toward its target of 423 globally by 2025.

“This is another milestone moment for us, as this is our first Area Development deal in the U.S., empowering our new partners to start changing lives from scratch in the state of Colorado,” said Brian Curin, CEO & co-founder of Little Kitchen Academy. “Scott and Keith’s genuine passion for Little Kitchen Academy was clear from the moment we met them. We continue to be humbled and grateful for what we get to do every day with like-minded, good people like Scott and Keith.  We know they are the perfect team to bring the gift of Little Kitchen Academy to communities throughout the Centennial State.”

Payne and Lublin opened their first franchise together in 2013. They are now one of the largest and most successful operators for Goldfish Swim School. When Payne and Lublin heard about LKA, they were immediately drawn to the concept.

Scott Payne and Keith Lublin

“With my years of experience in the franchising world and passion for teaching children practical life skills, I immediately knew that Little Kitchen Academy had captured lightning in a bottle with its concept,” said Scott Payne, LKA Area Developer for Colorado. “Then, when I met Felicity, Brian, and the LKA team, I knew that these were the type of people we wanted to be in business with and that we were the right people to develop this concept in Colorado.”

Payne’s business partner, Lublin, is excited to give children in Colorado the opportunity to experience LKA.

“From a business perspective, Little Kitchen Academy is a great model, but this deal is about so much more than just a business opportunity for us,” said Keith Lublin, LKA Area Developer for Colorado. “As a father, I’m excited to know that we will be giving children a fun, safe, empowering environment to learn practical life skills, like we have in the past through swimming. We’re proud to be changing lives from scratch and can’t wait to open our first location.”

This deal, the first U.S. Area Development deal for the rapidly growing concept that opened its first location in Vancouver, B.C., just over two years ago, brings the total number of locations in development to 140 out of the company’s goal of 423 globally by the end of 2025. The company currently has four locations open in Canada and the U.S. with more opening this fall.

Seasonal Sessions Year-round

LKA Global Brand Ambassador, Iron Chef Cat Cora, and LKA Founder, President, and COO, Felicity Curin, at LKA Point Grey in Vancouver, Canada

Seasonal sessions run year-round and are organized by age group (ages 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and 13+ years old). Students experience a three-hour class once a week during the school year or over five consecutive days during Summer, Winter, & Spring breaks. Each class, students learn how to make healthy, delicious, and seasonal meals from scratch to consumption—all while experimenting with math and science concepts, working on their reading skills, and polishing up their table manners by sharing meals around the LKA community table (made with more than 33,000 recycled chopsticks). Sessions are limited to just 10 students and are overseen by three instructors. The curriculum focuses on seasonal, locally grown, and organic produce and ingredients, and students enjoy the fruits of their labor for a “scratch to consumption” experience at the end of each lesson. All students are welcome in this fully inclusive program, including those with learning or other disabilities.  The program, which is nut, meat, poultry, and seafood free, also can accommodate those with gluten, dairy, or other allergies.

The Montessori Approach

LKA’s Montessori-inspired environment is organized to support the growth and development of each child. Instructors show the students how to safely use tools, but step back to closely observe the independent work, only stepping in when deemed appropriate. This approach enables students to learn at their own pace while they acquire practical life skills that foster independence, confidence, and socialization. LKA further empowers students to make better food choices, to apply age-appropriate math and science skills in real-world settings, and embrace practices such as recycling, composting, and the concept of philanthropy in order to make positive, socially conscious contributions to the world through its recently announced global philanthropic initiative “How Can I Help,” which empowers students to learn about giving back and making a difference by putting the choice in their hands to support one of three notable causes. Learn more about LKA’s innovative philanthropic program: https://littlekitchenacademy.com/how-can-i-help/

The Inspiration and Trajectory

LKA is the brain trust of Founder Felicity Curin, a mother of three, who combined three of her life-long passions: cooking, education, and children. She is a trained chef who began her career at Earls Restaurants, a Canadian-based upscale eatery chain. She also is the daughter of the founding headmaster of the prestigious West Point Grey Academy and took her natural ability to teach and love for children to the classroom by getting her (AMI) Association Montessori Internationale teaching degree.  The idea for Little Kitchen Academy was born in 2018 and Felicity opened her first location in June 2019.  Her husband and co-founder, Brian Curin, quickly developed the brand and franchise model, secured the company’s early investors and advisors, and set out to secure global partners and the first multi-unit franchisees and development partners. Four locations are now open in Canada and the U.S. with 140 in development including two locations opening this fall, LKA Panorama and LKA Edgemont.

Little Kitchen Academy is currently seeking like-minded multi-unit franchisees and development partners based exclusively in AZ, CA, FL, IL, NC, OR, TX, UT, WA, and WI. Internationally, LKA is focused on expanding further into Canada in AB, select markets in BC, and ON in Canada, as well as Australia, India, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, MENA region, Singapore, Spain, and the U.K.

About Little Kitchen Academy

Little Kitchen Academy (LKA) is the key ingredient for an independent child. The first-of-its-kind, Montessori-inspired cooking academy for kids ages three through teen is focused on providing a safe, inspiring, and empowering space for children to identify, develop and refine their senses. Based in Vancouver, Canada, the concept was co-founded by proven global brand and franchise expert and serial entrepreneur Brian Curin, his wife, Montessori-trained, culinary expert and visionary Felicity Curin, and social impact investor and entrepreneur Praveen Varshney, on the belief that by empowering children with practical life skills and knowledge in a positive and joyful environment, they and their company will effect positive lifestyle changes that result in a healthier world. True to its mission, LKA lives to create a more educated, able, and healthy society through mindful, healthy eating choices, and is committed to changing lives, from scratch to consumption. Part of that mission includes empowering students to learn how they can make the world a better place through How Can I Help by Little Kitchen Academy, LKA’s signature philanthropic program, supporting Chefs for Humanity, The Global FoodBanking Network, Kids Help Phone, and PHIT America. In addition to charitable partnerships, LKA has forged strategic global brand partnerships with Iron Chef Cat Cora, AeroGarden, BIRKENSTOCK, ChefWorks, Emeco, ChopValue, Welcome Industries,  Location3, and PRISE Inc. Little Kitchen Academy’s flagship venues are located in Vancouver, B.C., and Los Angeles, Calif.

For a taste of Little Kitchen Academy, visit littlekitchenacademy.com or join its communities on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

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