global franchise newsletter sign up graphic

Stay in the know and receive the latest international franchising news, insight and investment opportunities

close catfish

Little Kitchen Academy has the recipe for success

Little Kitchen Academy has the recipe for success

Little Kitchen Academy co-founders Felicity and Brian Curin reflect on remarkable growth.

Keep up to date with the latest Global Franchise News sent straight to your inbox. Sign up here.

Content Partnership*

For years, Felicity Curin had wanted to find a way to combine her passion for health, food, and children into a business. “Initially I wanted to open a bakery where veggies would be baked into delicious treats, but then I realized we shouldn’t hide vegetables in our children’s food. Instead, we need to engage them in the process of cooking, so they actually want to try a mushroom or some zucchini,” said Felicity, founder, president, and COO of Little Kitchen Academy.

“I have always been passionate about food and trained as a chef early in my career. Later, I was inspired to go back to school and received my AMI degree after I fell in love with the Montessori pedagogy. That process helped me realize that cooking was the perfect vehicle to help children develop their independence and learn practical life skills, and the idea for Little Kitchen Academy developed from there. We are a cooking school, but our real purpose is helping our students grow into happy, healthy, independent children!”

Successful from the start

Felicity’s dream became a reality in 2019, when Little Kitchen Academy opened its Vancouver flagship location. Immediately, Felicity’s husband Brian knew they had to share this concept with the world.

“We are a cooking school, but our real purpose is helping our students grow into happy, healthy, independent children!”

Brian is a proven global brand and franchise expert and serial entrepreneur who has built brands like Flip Flop Shops, Cold Stone Creamery, and Moe’s Southwest Grill. “It’s incredibly fulfilling for me to use the skills and experience I have in the franchising world to bring this incredible concept that Felicity has created to more children,” said Brian Curin, CEO and co-founder.

Brian and Felicity set out to find like-minded people and have amassed an impressive group of investors (including Ryan Holmes, founder of Hootsuite; venture capitalist/TV personality Bruce Croxon), advisory board members (including Iron Chef Cat Cora; founder of Yves Veggie Cuisine and Gardein, Yves Potvin), and global brand partners like AeroGarden and Emeco.

“As we began telling people in our network about Little Kitchen Academy, they kept saying, ‘I have to be involved in this’,” said Brian. “To have an individual like David Kahan, CEO of BIRKENSTOCK Americas, say that he not only wanted to join our advisory board, but that he also wanted BIRKENSTOCK to be our official footwear partner, I almost couldn’t believe it. Knowing he had such a passion for and belief in this concept was really powerful. And then David introduced us to Iron Chef Cat Cora, and she fell in love with the concept too!”

“We’re grateful to have found people who love this concept as much as we do”

“When I first met Brian and Felicity and learned about Little Kitchen Academy, I immediately knew that it was something I wanted to be a part of,” said Cat Cora. “When I experienced a class and saw how empowered and independent the students were in the kitchen in response to the caring Montessori inspired approach, I was certain that we had to share this incredible gift with as many children as possible.”

International appeal

The Curins also found like-minded individuals to open franchise locations in Canada and the U.S. They have more than 70 locations in development, three Canadian locations currently open, and a fourth location, the company’s U.S. flagship, opening August 16 in Los Angeles.

“We’re grateful to have found people who love this concept as much as we do,” said Brian. “We’ve had multiple occasions where franchisees have signed a deal for one or two locations, but after beginning our Starting from Scratch process and seeing the thought and detail that goes into every decision we make, they sign on to open more locations. To us, that’s the ultimate indication that we are supporting our franchisees properly.”

The Vancouver flagship has managed to see remarkable growth, even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, with 50 per cent YOY growth in 2019-2020 and 200 per cent YOY in 2020-2021. The LKA team attributes a significant portion of its success to high repeat and referral rates.

“We have some students who have been coming every week since we opened two years ago,” said Felicity. “It’s wonderful to see students ‘graduating’ from one age group to the next or welcoming their younger sibling to their first class.”

The flagship also maintains low food costs and very favourable margins. “We guide our students to celebrate using local, seaonal ingredients as much as possible because it’s better for the environment, better for them, and the food tastes better. But it also allows us to keep our food costs low and maintain healthy profit margins,” said Brian.

Putting students at the forefront

Despite their early success and rapid growth, for Felicity, Brian, and the LKA team, everything they do comes back to their students. “Little Kitchen Academy really is the key ingredient for an independent child,” said Felicity. “We see the independence in our students growing every day. It starts from the moment students walk in the door when an instructor hands them their chef’s coat and helps do up the first button, then encourages the child to do the rest. We’ve seen some interesting ways of buttoning a chef coat and buttons are frequently missed, but it’s about the effort, not the result.

“And with many of our students who have been coming for a while, we see them starting to help others with the same process. We had two siblings come in together and the sister helped her younger brother with the first button and said ‘I’ll show you how to do the first one, and then you can do the rest.’ Seeing that independence and empowerment is truly inspiring.”

Little Kitchen Academy is seeking multi-unit franchisees, area reps, and development partners in markets across Canada and the U.S., and master franchisees for Australia, India, the MENA region, Singapore, Spain, and the U.K. Key U.S. markets include Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.

At a glance

Established: 2019

Number of franchised outlets: 4 locations operating, more than 70 franchises in development

Location of units: California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Ontario

Investment Range: $274,453 - $631,124

Minimum Required Capital: $250,000


you may be interested in

franchise directory

  • TaxAssist Accountants

    Business & Professional Services, Financial Services, <100K, Featured

  • Cafe2U

    Food & Catering, Coffee, Take-away, <100K, Featured

  • 800 Pizza

    Food & Catering, Fastfood, Pizza, Take-away, Featured

view more
Connect with Linkedin Logo
Global White Logo Click Here
Close button


Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways: To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs) To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you) To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs) To process transactions your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested. To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature To send periodic emails The email address you provide for order processing, will only be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order. Note: If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.


We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or enter, submit, or access your personal information We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential. After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be stored on our servers.


Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computers hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information. We use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart, understand and save your preferences for future visits, keep track of advertisements and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business.


We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.


Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third party products or services on our website. These third party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.


We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.


This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not to information collected offline.


Please also visit our Terms and Conditions section establishing the use, disclaimers, and limitations of liability governing the use of our website at


By using our site, you consent to our online privacy policy.


If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page


If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy you may contact us using the information below. All correspondence relating to the Website should be sent to: Global Franchise 21/23 Phoenix Court Hawkins Road Colchester Essex CO2 8JY Email: