From a young age, Nadine Boudreau dreamed of owning her own business where she could help children. Her passion led to a degree in sociology with a focus on women and children’s studies. Boudreau originally thought she’d be a social worker, but found a different opportunity in 2008 with the purchase of a failing preschool in St. James, Long Island.
Boudreau kept the same location and staff, but completely overhauled the curriculum and materials to turn the business around. Her philosophy that children need challenging and creative experiences to develop their innate creativity and fuel their desire to learn new things is reflected in the school’s new motto, “Where your children grow and learn while having fun.” Boudreau’s commitment to becoming involved at each level of the business, including teaching classes, and focus on getting the children’s writing and pre-math skills ready for kindergarten has been highly regarded by the preschool parents.
The Story Book Hollow preschool was only the beginning of her success, as Boudreau purchased another struggling St. James daycare in March of 2011. With the second location, Boudreau increased her staff to 11 employees and provided services for 70 children between both programs. Within a year, the impact of her leadership resulted in waitlists for both centers and Boudreau started looking for a third location to meet the demand. A short drive from St. James, Boudreau discovered an aging preschool building that would require no major renovations, though it was in desperate need of cosmetic makeover. Boudreau found a perfect match in financing her expansion plans this year with SBA and TD Bank.
“When we launched into the task of securing funding for the new location in Selden, it seemed monumental and insurmountable until we met Tom Blackburne from TD Bank,” Boudreau said. “We would also like to thank the SBA and the men and women behind it. It would not be an exaggeration to say that without the SBA program, Story Book Hollow would not be in the new location today.”
Story Book Hollow used an SBA 7(a) loan worth $440,000 from TD Bank to purchase a third location in Suffolk County. TD Bank also provided an SBAExpress line of credit worth $75,000 for working capital. The new location has nearly doubled the size of Boudreau’s business, creating 12 new jobs and openings for over 60 children.
“With three children to raise, three locations and working six days a week, it can be a little crazy. Owning your own business is not the same as a regular desk job-every day is different and it’s something that I love,” explained Boudreau.