Turning a Business into a Franchise with Kristen Denzer

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Turning a Business into a Franchise with Kristen Denzer
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Welcome back to the Pass the Secret Sauce podcast. In this episode, we have Kristen Denzer, CEO and Founder of Tierra Encantada. Tierra Encantada is the leader in Spanish immersion early education. Providing care for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years of age, Tierra Encantada’s high-quality program has received the highest possible rating (4 stars) in its home state of Minnesota. Centers feature on-site commercial kitchens to provide fresh-cooked organic meals designed to expand young palates. Tierra’s commitment to being environmentally friendly can be seen throughout operations, from the solar panels at their Bryant location to the cloth diapers provided and used for children at all locations. Tierra Encantada has multiple corporate locations in Minnesota and is offering franchises in most markets throughout the United States.

Denzer Holdings invests in commercial real estate and owns over 100,000 square feet of commercial space in Minnesota. Kristen also co-founded two other companies that she later sold; The Woof Room, a dog daycare and boarding facility and Cici Events, an event rental and decor company.

Kristen is an experienced speaker and trainer and has been a guest at both statewide and national conferences. Her extensive evaluation experience with over twenty educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and tribal nations have included a range of projects from designing an evaluation tool for the University of Minnesota’s Stormwater Education Program to overseeing Twin Cities Pride’s event evaluation for its annual festival and parade. Further, she has conducted workshops and trainings on a variety of topics, including social media evaluation, fundraising, and social media 101. Kristen also enjoys mentoring and consulting with founders to start their own small businesses.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Kristen’s educational background and how she started her multiple businesses while having a job and studying [5:18]
  • How Kristen set up her events business and how she grew the business to doing 500 events a year [8:36]
  • Starting a dog daycare business and selling the business [12:06]
  • StartingTierra Encantada: deciding on the name and how they are different from other daycares/pre-schools  [16:37]
  • What are the programs they teach and challenges in the business [19:42]
  • What she’s learned when hiring employees [23:10]
  • How Kristen set up and launched a franchising program for Tierra Encantada and how she overcame her apprehension about starting the program [24:46]

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