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2019 Franchisee of the Year

a woman holding a book shelf

We are thrilled to highlight Amanda Marijanovic as our Franchisee of the Year.

Amanda Marijanovic began her journey with Taste Buds Kitchen in October of 2016. With a passion for culinary entertainment and education she set out on a path to bring a hands-on cooking concept to the community that she loved so much in the Northern Suburbs of Illinois. For years prior to joining the TBK family, Amanda, an established entrepreneur and business woman, had been conceptually developing a plan for a community cooking studio. “I remember thinking how similar the concept was to what I was trying to create. The synergies were electric” says Amanda. Amanda decided to capitalize on her background in business development, journalism, public relations and event productions combining them with the TBK business model to launch her Kitchen in Bannockburn, IL.

Working with the TBK team Amanda quickly established herself as a positive force within the TBK family. Amanda effectively found a beautiful location for her Kitchen and opened one of Taste Buds Kitchens most sought after and successful Kitchens having hosted over 1700 events to date with countless inspired new chefs!

Community Focused

“Opening a neighborhood cooking studio in the northern suburbs of Chicago (where I live, work and play) was a “passion project” for me”

Establishing a business that provided top notch service to her community has always been a top priority to Amanda. A life long resident of Northern Chicago Amanda saw the impact that experiences in the Kitchen could have on those around her. “I’ve always been a foodie – I love to cook, eat and entertain. As a mom of “tweenage” boys, I’ve seen firsthand how cooking with your kids impacts the diversity of their palette and desire to try new things” says Amanda.

New experiences in the Kitchen are not limited to the young, TBK Bannockburn offers a full range of events for all ages including adults, couples and corporate teams. Amanda strives to recreate her vision of community within her Kitchen and every event offered, these values are instilled among her team and can be seen in her clients faces as they create their own culinary masterpieces. Everyone that comes to her Kitchen will take part in a Kitchen adventure that will leave a lasting memory.

“I’m encouraged that we still have so many more mouths we could be feeding! As we head into year three, I’m thrilled by the possibilities for continued growth”

Family Driven

Amanda says her husband Mike (also a local business owner) and their twin boys are one of the main drivers behind her success. Diving into this venture she knew the sacrifice it would take, “Being a small business owner is so much more than a 40-hour/week gig. I really strive to create balance and be present in every aspect of my life. I also take so much pride in what we’ve created for the community. My heart smiles every time my kids “brag” to their friends that their mom is the one who owns TBK.” Amanda’s family was all there to support her on her Grand Opening Day as they celebrated her twins 9th birthdays as one of her inaugural events. With Amanda’s drive, the support of her family and the TBK team she decided she had a winning combination to bring her dreams to fruition.

2019 Franchisee of the Year

We at Taste Buds Kitchen awarded Amanda Marijanovic the Franchisee of the Year based on many facets. As a franchisee, Amanda sets an example for other Kitchen’s on how to represent and implement the TBK Brand. Her attention to sales and marketing drove her Kitchen to have the highest sales before opening of all time! Additionally the great community buzz and organic social media marketing implemented by Amanda pushed her first year sales to be the highest of any Kitchen! Amanda’s attention to operational procedures and standards has ensured that all of her clients are receiving a top notch service.

On top of running her own Kitchen, Amanda has gone above and beyond to take part in the Franchise system as a whole. Amanda has been a great source of ideas and feedback as the system grows and changes understanding the impacts change will have on her Kitchen as well as the system as a whole. With Amanda as a founding member of the Franchise Advisory Council TBK Corporate is looking forward to working closely with her as TBK continues to grow its foot print throughout the country.