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More than 20 years after a trio of siblings opened a daycare center with the name Doodle Bugs!, Anthony Insinna is proud to be the president and chief operating officer of the company with his sisters as they make a thoughtful foray into franchising.
Insinna was 19 when he went into business with his sisters Clarine Insinna and Anna Insinna-Zavatti, who were both educators. Insinna studied marketing at University of Buffalo in New York and went on to get his MBA.
Today, the family-run business has grown to 10 corporate locations and 420 employees in Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y., and Pittsburgh, Pa. Two franchise ventures in the Rochester market are also underway.
“It’s something we’ve been developing over the past four years,” Insinna, now 40, said of the company’s franchise plan.
The Spike Strategy
Doodle Bugs! Children’s Centers is developing its franchise plan according to what Insinna calls a “spike strategy.” The plan calls for the company to “drive a spike into the ground” in a centralized area of a new market by opening a corporate unit, which then becomes a training center and support hub for franchises that spring up around it.
The latest corporate store opened in suburban McCandless near Pittsburgh, the first unit outside the state of New York.
Doodle Bugs! is education-based and teaches students through its proprietary BRAVO! Early Childhood Curriculum, which is focused on building the foundation of a child’s cognitive, social, physical, and creative development.
Aside from the curriculum, Insinna said Doodle Bugs! differentiates itself from competitors such as the Goddard School, Primrose Schools, Kids ‘R’ Kids, and the Learning Experience through its state-of-the-art facilities and technology.
“We have a product that really none of them have,” Insinna said. “We’re the high end of child care.”
Doodle Bugs! buildings average between 10,000 and 15,000 square feet and feature a two-story Doodleville indoor play village, spacious classrooms, outdoor playgrounds, biometric security systems, and WatchMeGrow Internet access so parents can monitor their children online at any time.
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