VANCOUVER, CANADA – April 20, 2021 – Today, Little Kitchen Academy (LKA), the first-of-its-kind, Montessori-inspired cooking academy for kids ages three through teen, has announced plans for a second location in Surrey, British Columbia. Little Kitchen Academy is the realization of a long-held dream of Montessori-trained culinary expert and visionary, Felicity Curin who co-founded the organization with her husband, global brand and franchise expert and entrepreneur Brian Curin (Cold Stone Creamery, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Flip Flop Shops), and social impact investor and entrepreneur Praveen Varshney. Founded to provide a safe, inspiring, and empowering space for students to develop and refine their senses and acquire both important practical life skills and confidence, this new location represents the next step in opening more than 30 locations across British Columbia, and 423 worldwide, by the end of 2025.
“Changing lives from scratch is not just our tagline, we are seeing it happen every single day,” said Brian Curin, CEO of Little Kitchen Academy. “Our environment, our curriculum, our approach, and the practical life skills the students learn at LKA are more relevant now than ever before.”
This is the second location of a thirty-location area development agreement being opened by LKA BC Area Developers Nicholas and Angela Popoff. Their first location in the South Surrey area will be opening early Summer 2021 located at Peninsula Village Centre. “Every time we walk into Little Kitchen Academy, we get goose bumps and feel all warm and fuzzy,” said Nicholas Popoff, BC Area Developer. “To see the delight in the children’s faces and watch them learn independence is heartwarming. Being parents to three boys we instantly recognized the value of LKA and how it will help create improved long-term health for our youth today. We look forward to changing lives from scratch throughout British Columbia over many years to come and are delighted to be bringing a second location to Surrey this Fall.”
The new location will be opening in Panorama Village in Surrey, at 152nd Street and Highway 10 in early Fall 2021, with enrollments expected to begin this summer. The Panorama Village location will feature the same modern, innovative, signature LKA design, complete with a hand washing center, 10 individual cooking stations (a.k.a. Little Kitchens) that are physically distanced appropriately. Each Little Kitchen will be equipped with its own oven (supplied by local brand partner Trail Appliances), induction cooktop, sink, cleaning and sanitizing supplies, prep table, KitchenAid mixer, and all the equipment and utensils needed to make the “from scratch” creations including vegetable peelers, rolling pins, measuring spoons, and colanders, which are meticulously kept, cleaned, and commercially sanitized between each class. Learning begins as soon as students enter the “for student chefs only” environment, where they are acquainted with and practice proper hand washing. Each instructor and student dons an LKA chef coat by ChefWorks and a fitted pair of BIRKENSTOCK chef shoes (two of several global brand partners) to begin their personalized cooking journey.
The new location will feature items from each of the Little Kitchen Academy strategic partnerships, ensuring the ability to offer an authentic, sustainable experience. These include the ChopValue community table composed of 33,000+ recycled chopsticks where students will enjoy their creations at the close of every lesson once current Covid-19 restrictions are lifted (until that time, students will dine safely at their individual workstations), Emeco chairs made of recycled plastic bottles, and an eye-catching living food wall powered by AeroGarden, for students to grow and harvest fruits, vegetables, and herbs for use in their creations. Additional global brand partners include Welcome Industries, which provides educational cooking tools, including measuring cups shaped like fractions to make cooking and learning math engaging and fun.
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 safety is a concern. 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 four notable causes.
Sessions of three-hour classes run year-round, are organized by age group for up to 10 students per session (ages 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and 13+ years old), and are overseen by three instructors per class. 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.
In May 2020, Little Kitchen Academy announced its plans to open more than 400 global locations by 2025 and is currently seeking like-minded multi-unit franchisees and development partners based exclusively in BC, AB, and ON in Canada and AZ, CA, CO, FL, IL, MS, NC, OR, TX, WA, WI in the US. Internationally, LKA is focused on expanding into 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 first-of-its-kind, Montessori-inspired cooking academy for kids ages three through teen, 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 affect 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, PRISE Inc., KitchenAid Canada and Trail Appliances. Little Kitchen Academy’s flagship venue is located at 3744 West 10th Avenue in Vancouver, BC.
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