Tammy Imme doesn’t have to advertise her child care center, Apple Ridge Academy in New Berlin. She has plenty of word-of-mouth endorsement from happy parents. In fact Apple Ridge Academy grew to capacity in its first year and expanded in 2012, adding space, enrollment and teachers. Imme now anticipates the same success with her second center set to open in January 2014 in Brookfield. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Milwaukee helped Imme get her business off the ground and continues to be a valuable resource as she grows.
With 10,000 square feet of educational space, the New Berlin center provides quality care, including pre-school and four-year-old Kindergarten, to children ages six weeks to twelve years. Employment has grown from 18 in 2010 to 29 employees today. The new center in Brookfield is a similar size. “We will employ four people initially at the new center and will grow from there,” says Imme.
The SBDC Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP) that Tammy and her husband Chad took in 2009 gave them business planning skills to launch and expand. Last year, after finding the perfect 15,000-square-foot building on Gumina Road in Brookfield, Imme put her business planning skills to work once again.
“We realized that a solid vision and detailed business plan would be essential for securing funding,” says Imme, who received funding for the new location in 2013. “The knowledge we received in the ETP training series has been invaluable as we continue to create detailed, viable business plans that reflect our vision and passion for early childhood education.”
Confident that her center’s focus on quality care and community involvement will nurture more happy families at the Brookfield center, Imme is happy to have the SBDC on her side. “They are always providing additional assistance and educational courses. I can count on them to be there if I need help.”
For more information on Apple Ridge Academy, check out www.appleridgeacademy.com.