Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Time for Sports Class

It’s Tuesday afternoon and my kids will soon be off enjoying one of the classes offered at the Little Gym Westborough.  Over the years we have tried several of classes offered for younger children around the Boroughs…Gymboree, The Little Gym, TEAMWORKS, and a couple of others.  Most have been enjoyable, but some were definitely better then others.  For young kids I always felt it was hard to find the balance between keeping their attention, the kids enjoying themselves, and having a structured activity.  So the places that do it well, impress me.

To date I have been very impressed with The Little Gym in Westborough.  There are two main factors for this; Mr. Tim, and the general attitude from Anthony and Kellie Karpouzis (my interactions have been mostly with Anthony but I will give them both credit as the owner/operators of this location).
  1. First - Mr. Tim - If Anthony or Kellie happens to read this, give Mr. Tim a raise.  He is amazing.   I have fairly social kids who are willing to be involved and excited to please teachers, but not all kids are always interesting in participating.  Even my kids need a push now and then.  I have never seen a class with Mr. Tim where the kids weren’t hanging on his every word.  He is energetic, fun, and exciting, but still has authority and control over what the kids are doing.  As a parent these are the type of people we enjoy watching interact with our children.

    My kids love Mr. Tim.  They look forward to seeing him and talk about him and the activities they did for days after.  As a parent I enjoy the recaps that Mr. Tim or any of the other instructors relay to parents after classes.

  2. Second - General Management – I was sitting in the viewing area a couple of weeks ago while the kids were participating in a sports class.  I overheard two conversations with Anthony Karpouzis.  The first was with a parent that had apparently paid for a class and then moved out of state.  Anthony was immediately willing to transfer the unused balance for the unattended classes to another Little Gym wherever this individual had moved.  As a privately owned franchise I am not sure that that would actually be something they need to do.  It may just be part of the general operating policies for the franchise, but regardless, there was no hesitation in providing the customer with a fair service.

    The second conversation I overheard Anthony discussing his new location with, I assume, the general contractors.  He was pushing on the contractors to complete renovations in the new location for the Little Gym in Westborough.  Repeatedly he referenced the desire to provide a better facility for customers.  As I listened I thought about dealing with contractors and how often time estimates are not 100% accurate.  Anyone who has undertaken renovations, private or professional, have stories about the planning, the construction, the move.  Often tellers of these stories express frustration and concerns.  Anthony’s priorities were obviously the customers, it almost seemed he could handle time delays or other issues as long as the customers were provided with a facility that will proudly showcase the business.
Since I mentioned the new location above, I’ll share the details from an email about the new location from Anthony and Kellie.

The new location will be in The Village Plaza at 122 Turnpike Road (Rt. 9 East) in Westborogh. It has many new features that we do not currently have at this location. It has a much larger multi-purpose room/dance room with more viewing for the parents. We will have three bathrooms, with the handicapped accessible bathroom (and changing table) that will be located conveniently for parents to use in our lobby. Our new home will also be more comfortable whether you are in the gym or out in the lobby because we will have separate heating and air conditioning zones for each area. Our new plaza is also the home to family friendly amenities such a The New York Deli, Boxwell's and Right at Home. This plaza is also a stones throw away from Dunkin' Donuts and D'Angelo's which are literally right next door. We hope that you are as excited as we are!

We are aiming for the week of Thanksgiving to make the move, but we will have to wait for the project to be officially completed and inspected before we can say for sure. Our plan is to close down for a couple of days during the week in order to do the move, and will update you when the move will take place. We will automatically owe you a make-up for the days that we will have to close in order to complete the move. We will also re-do and re-issue any and all Birthday Invitations for Birthday Parties that will take place after the move. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience that we may cause, but we are sure that it will all be worth it. Our goal is to make this transition as seamless as possible for your children and for you. If you have any questions about our new facility please don't hesitate to ask!

This mail reiterates the customer focused way Anthony and Kellie run their business.  Professional customer focused services with awesome employees really make The Little Gym Westborough a great place.   I look forward to the new location and encourage anyone who has younger kids and hasn’t tried the Little Gym to give them a chance.  My kids are still young so I have not experienced all of the Little Gym programs, but I am excited to see what is next

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