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Glancer Magazine

KID STUFF | First-of-Its-Kind Montessori-Inspired Cooking Academy Comes to Naperville & Plainfield

Students at Little Kitchen Academy (CNW Group/Little Kitchen Academy Ltd.)


NAPERVILLE- Little Kitchen Academy (LKA), the key ingredient for an independent child and the first-of-its-kind, Montessori-inspired cooking academy for kids ages three through teen, announced its expansion into Illinois, with a deal for three locations in the Greater Chicago area. LKA Chicago, LKA Naperville, and LKA Plainfield will be opened by local entrepreneur Randall Barba, Chris Cukrowski, and Phable Meyerhoff. Barba, the former CEO and President of Antique Reflections, a design, manufacturing, and import company, owns and operates six Goldfish Swim Schools in Illinois, New Jersey, and New York, employing more than 100 people. Meyerhoff, in addition to being a proud mother, has led multiple Goldfish Swim School locations to success as operations director. The group's first location in Illinois, LKA Naperville, will open in Fall 2022.

"I am so excited to bring the gift of Little Kitchen Academy to Illinois," said Randall Barba, franchise partner for LKA Chicago, LKA Naperville, and LKA Plainfield. "Teaching children practical life skills is not just good business, it's an important part of creating a better future for them. I know that by sharing the gift of Little Kitchen Academy with families in Illinois, we will help children in our community develop their independence, both inside and outside of the kitchen."

"We are delighted to have such passionate and like-minded partners to share Little Kitchen Academy with the communities throughout Illinois," said Brian Curin, co-founder/co-CEO and president of Little Kitchen Academy. "Not only is Chicago an important place to me, having grown up in the area, but it is also an important market that continues our expansion throughout the Midwest. With Randall and his team's incredible experience, we know they are the right people to bring LKA to families throughout the Greater Chicago Area!"

This new deal for the highly impactful concept comes on the heels of the recent announcement of a multi-unit deal in Michigan and brings the total number of LKA locations in development to 149, contributing to the company's target of 423 locations globally by the end of 2025. The company currently has seven locations open throughout North America with more to come, including LKA Bridgeport Village, the company's second location in the U.S., which will open in Portland this summer.

LKA is currently seeking like-minded multi-unit franchisees and development partners based exclusively in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. In Canada, there are limited opportunities in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. Globally, Australia, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, MENA region, Singapore, Spain, and the U.K. are markets available for development.

About Little Kitchen Academy Little Kitchen Academy 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 Crisis Text Line, The Global FoodBanking Network, Kids Help Phone, and One Tree Planted. In addition to charitable partnerships, LKA has forged strategic global brand partnerships with Iron Chef Cat Cora, AeroGarden, BIRKENSTOCK, ChefWorks, Emeco, ChopValue, Welcome Industries, 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 or join its communities on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.




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