Little Kitchen Academy Is Opening In Chicago

First-of-its-kind Montessori-inspired cooking academy will be changing lives from scratch throughout Illinois
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Little Kitchen Academy, 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 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.

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“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 in a statement. “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.

Lisa Hay

Lisa is a staff reporter for What Now Media Group. She covers new restaurant, retail, and real estate openings across all of our markets. A true foodie, this Air Force veteran has lived all over the world — from Aviano, Italy to Nairobi, Kenya — but her favorite spot is NOLA for its rich history, architecture, culture, and of course, its good eats.
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