It all began when...
The funderful world of the Learning Shop began in rather humble surroundings back in the late 1970s. The family owned and operated chain of six stores began as a single store in a small retail building on Wisconsin Avenue in a setting more suited for the residents of Who-ville than a growing teacher supply store.
Business newbies, Dan & Sharon Merryfield along with partners John and Judy Yohr, took over a struggling small teacher supply store and began distribution of a catalog to local school districts, childcare centers, and other groups whose mission was the education of our children. With the support of these customers, the Learning Shop was able to make a number of moves along Wisconsin Avenue as space requirements changed with this growth.
It was during this growth phase that the decision was made to add specialty toys and educational products geared more towards parents and sparkling up the world of the children in the home environment. Not just fun toys..but fun specialty toys with an educational edge.
As this world grew, so did the Merryfield family. The second generation of Merryfields in the store began when oldest son, Todd, entered the business in 1987.
A few years later, in 1993, found the arrival of youngest son, Tom, to the growing family enterprise. About the same time, the confines of the Wisconsin Avenue store became critical. It was then that the decision was made to build the special destination you all know of on the corner of College Avenue and Casaloma Drive. Many children have experienced the "store with the little door" since we opened at this location.
In 1994, Sharon Merryfield won the Small Business of the Year award from the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce. This award didn't change the Merryfield's attitude towards offering quality toys in a fun environment. This pursuit of excellence was rewarded again when in 2008 Tom and Todd (shown below), as the second generation owners, were awarded the Small Business of the Year award.
Our commitment to fun and excitement was recently enhanced with a new logo and the Seussical tagline of "A Zillion Toyful Wonders"! Look for our eye-catching delivery truck while you are out traveling the highways of our area.
The Learning Shop shares the joy and excitement of a visit to one of our stores with the residents of Madison, Mequon, Greendale, and Brookfield along with the fine people of the Fox Valley.
"To our customers, from our family to yours, we thank you!"