After just over a year of searching for a new location, Judy Doyle of Ms. Judy’s Emporium is bringing new life to the Stony Creek School House building.
In an attempt to reduce overhead, Judy gave up her dual spaces at 1120 and 1122 Main Street where she offered one-of-a-kind classes for children in September 2011, and she began investigating new spaces throughout town.
Before opening Ms. Judy’s (formerly known as Blend for Kids), Doyle was the director of the Children’s Discovery Center and the afterschool program coordinator for the Pine Brook School in Branford. Doyle also launched Backyard Adventures, the summer program held annually at the Owenego Inn.
Longtime Branford entrepreneur Arabella Higgins, of the popular downtown clothing and shoe boutique Arabella, will be joining Judy in the new Stony Creek adventure. Judy says she's been friends with Arabella for years and the partnership seemed like a great idea when Arabella began looking for opportunities to spend more time with children and get out of the retail business. (See our coverage of the Arabella shop closing here.)
Ms. Judy currently occupies two spaces for programming on School Street in Stony Creek and will take over one other space to create a preschool program in January, pending Planning and Zoning Commission approval. Judy says the new space allows them plenty of room for new programming geared toward families — not just children. Both adult and children’s Zumba and yoga classes run all year long, while a fresh set of programs begins in January with the new semester.
Judy says they are most excited to launch their program "Something for Nothing," geared toward home-schooled students, where they come together to read a book and then spend the rest of the session creating a craft or activity based on their reading.
The Emporium’s fun play spaces are also available to rent for classes or other uses, and they are always looking for partners to teach classes and collaborate with them. For more information on those opportunities, reach out to Judy directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.