Taste Buds Kitchen is a pioneer in the industry of culinary entertainment, revolutionizing the way kids, families and adults experience the Kitchen.
Our cooking franchise concept was designed to create fresh and engaging culinary experiences for budding chefs of all ages — kids, families and adults — in our custom designed Kitchen Studios. From rolling handmade pasta to stirring up rainbow quinoa salad and decorating cupcakes, we love entertaining clients in our Kids Kitchen by day and Adult Kitchen by night. We make everything from scratch in our creative events while whipping up memories to last a lifetime!
From our conception in New York City in 2007 to our latest Kitchen openings in California, the past twelve years have been a whirlwind of exciting growth that spans from coast to coast! The Taste Buds Kitchen brand is loved by clients near and far, whether in a kids cooking class, camp, birthday party, adult class or corporate event. With fourteen Kitchens and counting and a great corporate team, we’re ready to bring our concept to new communities. Years have been spent creating the Taste Buds Kitchen that you see today. Our company is the result of the hard work of so many talented people along the way and we can’t wait to share it with you. Are you ready to join us?
Let’s take a look at how we’ve grown…
- NYC – From credit to cupcakes, Jessi Walter Brelsford started Taste Buds Kitchen (formerly Cupcake Kids!) while working full-time on Wall Street in the heart of the recession. Searching for a way to combine her passion for kids, families and food with her love of business, Jessi started offering cooking classes on the weekends. Demand quickly grew and before long, Jessi left the world of finance to pursue Taste Buds Kitchen full-time. From late nights developing recipes with her sister to carrying her favorite KitchenAid stand mixer on the subway, Jessi was determined to dream a success.
- NYC – Taste Buds Kitchen found its permanent home in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City in 2010. Taste Buds Kitchen’s reputation continued to grow and its reach expanded outside the Kitchen to local schools, client homes and most notably into the world famous FAO Schwarz. With the popularity of Taste Buds Kitchen reaching new heights, the vision to develop a cooking franchise brand was born. Excited to grow through the creation of a franchise system that partnered with talented individuals in local communities, initially in the USA and perhaps one day the world, plans were made.
Our first two franchises helped us to launch Taste Buds Kitchen on a national level. These businesses are 100% women-owned by rock stars who we are proud to have in the TBK Family.
- Texas – The first Taste Buds Kitchen franchise was opened in Southlake, Texas by owner Eden Bullock. Chef Eden put her restaurant management skills to the test by being the first franchise to open outside of our flagship Kitchen in NYC. It was a hit! Clients loved our signature menus from learning how to roll sushi to poaching pears. Together with Eden, we added a little Texas flare with new menus like Empanadas and Mexican Fiesta!
- Massachusetts – Just a few months later our second franchise was opened in North Andover, MA. Owned and operated by power-house Laurel Holmes, Laurel’s experience in sales has driven the success of her Kitchen from opening day. The clients of the northeast were smitten with baking, French cooking, and everyone’s favorite, decorating Gingerbread Houses!
- Florida – Looking to combine their love of food, family, and latin culture, the Zaldivar sisters (Beatriz and Laura) fell in love with the Taste Buds Kitchen concept. Their search for the perfect location landed their Kitchen in the heart of Miami West where they serve the communities of Kendall West, Kendall Lakes, Tamiami and beyond! If there’s anything you need to know about the Zaldivar sisters it’s that they know how to throw a party. Their cooking birthday parties and adult parties are no exception, using the TBK model of making cooking exciting, fun AND delicious!
- North Carolina – Literally opening one day after Miami West, our Kitchen in Apex, NC, serves the suburbs of southeast Raleigh. Owner-operator, Lisa Roche, brought her passion for kids cooking and teaching experience to the community, whipping up creative cake and cupcake designs along with her budding chefs during classes & camps. Moms and Dads love that their kids are learning cooking skills they can practice at home AND they love to indulge in a cooking date night themselves.
- Illinois – The Bannockburn suburb of Chicago, IL, couldn’t wait for Taste Buds Kitchen to open their doors. Owner, Amanda Marijanovic, with her background in event planning, saw this as the perfect opportunity to host the hottest cooking events in town. Clients were eager to sign up for camps, classes, and parties even before the Kitchen opened. This momentum helped her Kitchen to achieve the highest pre-sales of any franchise Kitchen opening to-date!
- Massachusetts x2 – Based on the success of her Kitchen in North Andover and her goal to expand, Laurel opened her second Kitchen in Beverly, MA. Seeing what Taste Buds Kitchen was all about, the town was excited to add culinary entertainment to their development plans. Where North Andover serves a community comprised mostly of kids & families, Beverly provides an opportunity to serve more of an adult and corporate market. But, don’t worry, they are just as thrilled to host a kid’s birthday party, cooking class, camp, and semester!
- Pennsylvania – Who said college students don’t like to cook? Owner, Susan McWhirter, proved that to be a myth by opening a Taste Buds Kitchen in State College, PA (home of Penn State University). Being one of the smallest populations of current franchises, TBK State College showed that small communities love and support small business. And, it showed that it’s not just the students who attend classes, it’s the entire community of children, families and professional adults who enjoy cooking and learning too!
- Kansas – Husband and wife team, Matt & Jenny Robinson, opened TBK Leawood, KS, following Jenny’s passion for cooking and teaching. They made the leap together intending for Jenny to run the Kitchen with Matt supporting various aspects of the business while maintaining his current occupation. But, Matt fell in love with the Taste Buds Kitchen experience and soon left his job to be in the Kitchen full-time; proving that men are just as savvy in the Kitchen as women! 🙂 Although they share all of the duties of running the Kitchen, you can most often find Matt in one of their adult classes and Jenny bringing joy and excitement to their kids classes, camps, & parties.
2019 & Beyond
- Rhode Island – The smallest state just celebrated Ann Wiard opening a Taste Buds Kitchen in East Greenwich, RI. After spending the last 10+ years working as the executive director of a local soup kitchen, Ann is excited to start anew and share her passion and love of cooking with a larger population of the southern suburbs of Providence. Chef hats off to the newest TBK and to becoming a part of our family of franchises!
West Coast Expansion
- California – We are thrilled to announce two Taste Buds Kitchens coming soon to the Bay Area of California with the opening of TBK San Jose, owned by Belinda Yamashiro, and TBK Palo Alto, owned by Scott & Susie Andersen! Both Kitchens are being constructed and are looking to open in early fall 2019. Stay tuned for their opening dates and details!