Our Story

How We’ve Revolutionized the Learn-to-Swim Industry

ThMcCuiston Family in the poole story of Goldfish Swim School started with none other than a passion for swimming. Jenny McCuiston’s love for swimming began in her childhood and continued all the way through college. By the time she graduated from the University of Arizona, she was a 17-time Collegiate All-American and two-time Olympic Trials qualifier.

With a degree in early childhood development and family studies, Jenny had the intention of becoming a preschool teacher. However, she quickly started to miss swimming, so she began coaching a local swim team and saw there was a waiting list for swim lessons. She discussed the idea of opening a swim school in Birmingham, Michigan, with her husband, Chris. After realizing how different swim schools were across the country, Jenny saw the need for quality swim schools in Michigan that focused solely on children and she sought to make her new vision a reality.

Together with Chris, Jenny traveled the country to research the learn-to-swim industry and began the two-year development of their business plan. In early 2005, Jenny and Chris brought the Goldfish Swim School concept to life by conceptualizing the tropically-themed facility and developing the systems and processes that make the Goldfish Swim School model the premier brand it is today. With 90-degree pools and a fun, warm, colorful environment, Jenny used both her negative and positive childhood swimming experiences as a guide when designing the concept of Goldfish Swim School.

Making a Splash in the Franchise World

In March of 2006, Jenny and Chris opened the first Goldfish Swim School in Birmingham, Michigan, with more than 500 students. Within two years, the business had grown to teach more than 2,000 students per week. Chris' brother, Andrew, came on board in 2008 when they began franchising. With the United States economy not doing well, Jenny, Chris, and Andrew were a little apprehensive about turning their thriving business into a franchise, but we're excited to take the plunge. Jenny, Chris, and Andrew had the vision that as many children as possible throughout the United States should have the opportunity to learn to swim in a Goldfish Swim School environment.

Because their original location was so successful, they structured each franchise to follow the same systems. Today – just 14 years later – Goldfish boasts over 140 locations nationwide with many more in the works. This track record of success, together with the unique systems and processes that have been created over this extended period of time, make Goldfish Swim School unique in the swim school industry. Our experience with franchising combined with the unique, proven processes we have in place separates us from every competitor in the industry.

Where We Are Today

Interior of Swim SchoolToday, Goldfish teaches over 185,000 students system-wide on a weekly basis! In 2023, Goldfish Swim Schools will teach more than 10,000,000 swim lessons! Our commitment to the Goldfish culture extends to our franchisees, instructors, parents, and their children, as we work to not only make them an invaluable part of our story but also give them the tools to create stories of their own.

Our swimming lesson franchise has developed a strong market recognition and our national brand fund that supports our continued growth. We are also consistently recognized by Ernst & Young, Inc., Entrepreneur, Franchise Business Review and more!

Goldfish celebrates 140+ open schools througout the U.S. and Canada with more than 150 additional schools in development. This track record of success, together with the unique systems and processes that have been created over this extended period of time, make Goldfish Swim School unique in the swim school industry. Our experience with franchising combined with the unique, proven processes we have in place separates us from every competitor in the industry.

Contact us today to learn more about Goldfish Swim School Franchise and our proven success structure.

Goldfish Swim School Franchise

Pursue Your Passion for Something More

Family-owned since its inception, Goldfish Swim School is more than a franchise – it’s a business that franchisees truly treasure. Goldfish Swim School is more than an investment to its franchisees – it’s a tropical, family-friendly environment that teaches kids crucial life-saving and life-changing skills. We know what it takes to help a franchisee thrive in this industry and in the franchisee’s community. What we need from you is passion – for kids, for the water, and for the chance to make a difference in the lives of children.

What Our Franchisees Are Saying
  • “Goldfish Swim School is committed to their core values and works hard every day to make our system better. That level of dedication and commitment to being the absolute best in class is what continues to motivate us to continue to reinvest in the business with new locations.” - Mike Meilleur
  • “There is a lot of pride in our market representing Goldfish. Just being able to bring swimming lessons to the community and keeping kids safe in the water - there aren’t many businesses where you can have that effect on the community.” - Anthony Pistilli
  • “I loved the idea of running and owning my own business in the community that I live in. It allowed for us to take a chance, forced us to work harder than we probably ever have and to build something in our community that is special – and that's just something that money can't buy.” - John Schwab

Our Core Values

  • We go above and beyond with every detail to create a GOLDEN Experience!
  • We believe in nurturing a culture that provides WOW! Customer Service
  • We meet and exceed expectations so you see Extraordinary Results
  • We make a big deal about life’s accomplishments by remembering to Celebrate!
  • We do the right things, make the right decisions and treat people with Integrity - Compassion - Trust

Water You Waiting For?

We would love to hear from you! To begin the process, simply complete this application. Once we receive and review your application, we will follow up via e-mail to set up an introductory webinar to get started!

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