Let Them Cook: Young Chefs Academy Franchise Expanding Across Multiple States

The experiential culinary enterprise continues to flourish, with new academies on the horizon

WACO, Texas, June 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Young Chefs® Academy (YCA™), a Montessori-based culinary education franchise, announces a new partnership with ABACO, a premier lower-middle market private equity firm led by well-known franchise investor Michael Abdy, as well as a rebranding initiative that has elevated the YCA™ brand identity. The franchise continues to expand, with 6 new locations opening this summer and fall and 3 more locations sold, adding to the 27 U.S. locations currently operating.

Additionally, a new buildout design, franchise support staff, and real estate experts has positioned YCA™ for stable growth at a forecasted pace of 10-15 new sales year-over-year.

Since opening its doors in 2004, Young Chefs® Academy has presented a broad culinary curriculum for young people, enabling each class to meet students at their individual skill levels. YCA™’s guided activities encourage self-discovery and independence through cooking. Every child who puts on an apron is positively impacted in a way that broadens their culinary knowledge, builds their self-esteem, teaches teamwork, increases worldly knowledge, and encourages appreciation for cultural diversity. Over the last six months, YCA™ has been working diligently to build its capabilities by pursuing initiatives to support its community of franchisees, their local staff, and the students they instruct.

“The kitchen is the pulse of the home where we learn about life and each other. I attribute the familial culture of YCA™, strong dedication to training and supporting our franchisees, and our successful partnership with ABACO to be the key drivers of our recent success,” said Julie Burleson, founder and CEO of YCA™. “I established Young Chefs® Academy two decades ago to cultivate children’s strong interest in the culinary arts. The more we share and grow this concept, the more children can explore their passion for food and be inspired by a love of cooking.”

Over its 18-year journey, YCA™ has transformed from a single kitchen-based concept into a dynamic and widely recognized brand. Today, YCA™ thrives with a cohesive vision and shared values, driven by a dedicated community of owners and staff aligned with the Academy’s mission. This evolution has been marked by continuous innovation in curriculum, marketing, and operations, keeping pace with modern trends and customer expectations. Recognizing the importance of this progression, YCA™ is excited to announce a major brand refresh. This rebranding effort introduces a new logo and brand identity that honors YCA™’s rich history while positioning it for future growth and continued impact on children’s lives.

“I’m thrilled to partner with Julie and the entire team at Young Chefs® Academy as they experience continued growth and well-deserved success,” said Michael Abdy, Chairman and Investor at YCA™. “Early on in our relationship, it was evident that Julie had an exceptional concept, great culture and training, and an established network of dedicated franchise partners. I’m excited to be a part of their journey and look forward to the road ahead.”

For more information on how you can join the Young Chefs® Academy family, please contact at 

About Young Chefs® Academy
Young Chefs® Academy is a culinary education franchise that introduces students to every aspect of culinary teaching through STEAM objectives (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math). Programs include weekly classes, parties, culinary camps, field trips, workshops, and special seasonal and adult classes, each designed to provide a unique, educational, and fun experience. Entrepreneurs are offered an established, straightforward model and the chance to positively impact youth through culinary programs. YCA™ owners benefit from ongoing support, a strong culture, the opportunity to make a difference in their community, and the ability to build lasting relationships while running a successful business.

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SOURCE Young Chefs Academy