Tierra Encantada Franchisee Says Adiós to Corporate America

This Tierra Encantada Franchisee Values Financial Independence

The Early Childhood Education Franchise Sets Itself Apart with its Immersive Spanish-Language Curriculum

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Financial independence means different things to different people, but Tierra Encantada franchisee Mariela Piñeda’s definition is an excellent one. “Financial independence for me is to have the capacity to live a life without any limitations or concern about your financial situation. Even though I kept my corporate job while running my Tierra Encantada daycare franchise, I’m at a point with the franchise where I could leave my corporate job.”

In other words, Piñeda’s version of financial independence means she can walk away from her day job if she wants or needs to. And many people view financial independence through that same lens. She and her business partner Natalia Pretelt opened their Tierra Encantada franchise in Minnetonka, Minn., in July 2021. They were first attracted to the investment because Pretelt’s child attended a Tierra Encantada corporate location in Minneapolis.

Tierra Encantada Franchisee Mariela Piñeda
Tierra Encantada franchisee Mariela Piñeda (right) poses with her business partner, Natalia Pretelt

After a deep dive on the franchise, they realized Tierra Encantada would be a great opportunity. “From the business perspective, it is a model that provides you with the opportunity to have financial independence, and it aligned with what we would look for in a daycare for our own kids.”

A Different Take on Preschool

The early childhood education franchise sets itself apart with its immersive Spanish-language curriculum and made-from-scratch organic meals for children 6 weeks to 6 years of age. Tierra Encantada’s welcoming environment functions as a second home for the youngsters enrolled. Franchisees appreciate the brand’s flexibility and comprehensive support. They don’t need to speak Spanish themselves, and a childcare background isn’t required. Tierra Encantada has an expert-curated proprietary curriculum that incorporates music and dancing, math and logic along with the signature language instruction. Young children experience textures, colors and other age-appropriate learning. Imagination and creativity are encouraged.

Tierra Encantada franchise
Tierra Encantada sets itself apart with its immersive Spanish-language curriculum and made-from-scratch organic meals for children 6 weeks to 6 years of age.

Building the Business

Even with all of Tierra Encantada’s advantages, success doesn’t happen overnight, of course. Piñeda admits there was a learning curve for a few months. “The first year when we opened the center, it was a lot to learn, from staffing to making sure license requirements were met,” she says. “My business partner and I spent most of the time at the center making sure everything was running smoothly.”

Staffing turned out to be particularly daunting for the new franchisees. “We opened in the middle of the Covid pandemic,” Piñeda points out, “and there was a huge staff shortage. So navigating through that was challenging, but as of today we are fully staffed.” They employ 32 people — from lead teachers and assistant teachers to aides and cooks. 

Tierra Encantada franchise

“Now we have an established center director who is very familiar with the center operations and runs the day-to-day operations,” Piñeda says. “I usually go to the center once a week to meet with the center director to make sure he has everything he needs to successfully run the center. My business partner and I are more focused on the financial piece of the business, including processing payroll, monthly financials and so on.”

She adds that they plan to scale the business in the near future. Those efforts have paid dividends that go beyond financial considerations, Piñeda says. “Seeing so many happy kids and families — and knowing that the service we provide is valuable to them — is rewarding.”

Early Education Market

Tierra Encantada is part of the booming early education market. In five years, the global market is predicted to reach $420.83 billion in 2028, according to Business Reseach Insights.

For more information about the Tierra Encantada franchise, visit https://www.tierraencantada.com/franchise/.

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Mary Vinnedge is an award-winning writer who has served as editor in chief, managing editor and senior editor at national and regional publications, including SUCCESS and Design NJ magazines. A seasoned journalist, Mary covers the latest franchising news in her role as staff writer for FranchiseWire.
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