Goldfish Swim School is more than an investment. It’s a business you can build and pass on to your children, it fuels the life goals of our franchisees and is a new adventure for an entrepreneur that needs a change. For consumers, it’s also a safe, fun place to learn essential life skills – like swimming, perseverance, adaptability and social skills. And when it all goes according to plan, or ever better than the plan, it can leave you wanting more! More safer swimmers, more employment opportunities, more Goldfish Swim School locations. Thus, the multi-unit deal. 

Two-thirds of Goldfish Swim School franchisees own more than one school. Franchisees in our brand are comprised of investment groups, individual owners, couples and families that are seeking a portfolio addition that is backed by years of experience, proven processes, and the support of a dedicated franchise team.  

Investment Group Created After Finding Goldfish Swim School 

The BHB Investment Group, led by Katie Lee and Hope and Brian Bayer, opened the very first Goldfish Swim School franchise in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Katie was long-time friends with Co-Founder Jenny McCuiston and wanted to be a part of her mission of teaching children to be safer in and around the water. The first franchised school in Farmington Hills launched the formation of the investment group and has since grown into a multi-unit commitment in several states. Though not an inexpensive investment, the group believes the reward is worth the spend. “You’ve gotta be willing to risk a lot up front to get the rewards on the back end,” says Katie Lee. 

The group owns schools across the country, in Michigan, Indiana, Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma, New York, and Maryland. They target locations for growth after analyzing market demographics, knowing they already have a strong management team in place. 

“We’re providing a lifesaving skill to children and aim to continue growing this brand where we have immense support and sound operations.” – Katie Lee 

Individual Franchisor Turned Goldfish Swim School Owner

Richard Simtob was first introduced to and became involved in franchising when he was in college. He has since become the owner of multiple Goldfish Swim Schools, alongside other investments in the education space. Richard owns schools in OH, IL, MO and MI. With success in his first school, the other deals followed naturally. 

“We hit our personal financial goals after opening our Ann Arbor school, and I knew we had something special. It felt like a no-brainer to open the second school in Okemos, MI and that one was also successful. Now we have 12 open schools and are heading into St. Louis to develop 2 additional schools, where we’re excited to see what the brand can do for the community!” – Richard Simtob 

Invested in One Another and Goldfish Swim School

Married couple Scott and Christy Payne started their investment journey with Goldfish in 2014, eager to provide what they saw missing in their community of Wexford, PA – quality swim lessons. 

“Now, 10 years and preparing to open our 9th & 10th school, we realize that this is about so much more!” says Scott. 

The couple owns Goldfish Swim Schools Columbia, Fox Chapel and Peters Township Pennsylvania, Silver Spring and Waugh Chapel Maryland, and Superior and Central Park (Colorado) and their original school  – Wexford. Their desire to grow their portfolio stemmed from a true passion for water safety and for providing their community with full-time job opportunities. When their first school in Wexford was a hit, they knew the success could be shared amongst other communities. 

“We had the passion for the brand and the success from the first school under our belts and knew that the next schools were inevitable. With the proven model of Goldfish and a franchise team that is supportive through every part of the process, the success of Wexford was enough to convince us that one just wasn’t enough!” says Christy. 

Similar to Scott and Christy, married couple Lars and Katie Grisley also saw the lack of access to quality swim lessons in their community in Utah. When they learned about Goldfish from Katie’s sister, who was a happy customer, they combined their backgrounds in franchise ownership and sales to build their next business adventure – Goldfish Swim School. Owning one quickly became owning three and with the success of their existing schools, the couple is excited to continue to expand further into Utah. 

“School one was successful out of the gate. When you go through that process…you realize, the effort was worth it and I can repeat this.” says Katie. “And why would I let anybody else come into this market and take what I’ve put in? So you open school two, and you open school three.” 

The momentum of their first school’s success combined with the desire to enjoy the successes for themselves and their family were the driving forces that brought about the development of the additional schools. But the model, the brand, the efforts of the Franchise team were what made Goldfish their franchise of choice. 

“They have done all of the hard work for us. You have to execute what they have created. And if you do that, it will be successful.” 

As we look forward to 2024, a year that anticipates tremendous growth, we’re excited to see our existing owners continue to expand, and our new franchisees invest into multi-unit deals. 

Looking to add to your portfolio? Connect with our Franchise Development team to learn more about available territories.