Big Blue Swim School Gears up for Supercharged Growth
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Big Blue Swim School Gears up for Supercharged Growth

Big Blue Swim School Gears up for Supercharged Growth

Big Blue Swim School continues to claim its stake as champions of swim safety and a competitive franchise force poised to dominate the $20 billion swim lesson industry. 

The nation's leading swim school franchise has sealed a significant deal for more rapid growth with plans for 10 new locations in Chicagoland and an additional six swim schools in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. 

The multi-unit partnership with Buffalo Grove, Illinois-based Shorewood Development Group, a commercial real estate firm specializing in infill retail shopping center development, brings a wealth of relevant experience to the Big Blue Swim School franchise family. Led by Louis Schriber III and Aaron Roth, SDG Swim, LLC's 16 locations will be managed by Jeff Plazak and Rachel Chavez.

“Aaron and Louis both have large families, each with five children all under the age of 14. They are intimately familiar with the important role swimming plays in kids' lives,” said Scott Thompson, Chief Development Officer of Big Blue Swim School. “Their experience as business owners and ability to take existing real estate, envision a totally new product and execute in accordance to that vision are exceptional. They have the same vision for Big Blue Swim School, and there's no doubt in my mind that their locations will be something to behold. Their ability to grow and retain top-tier employees gives us the utmost confidence that our schools will be in great hands with Jeff and Rachel leading the way.”

Backed by the mega financial muscle of Level 5 partners, Big Blue Swim School is making waves with an aggressive strategy to grow to 150 locations by 2020 with growth-minded franchise partners. The brand is the perfect investment fit for Schriber, co-founder and CEO of Shorewood Development, Schriber grew up on and in the water in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and swam competitively in high school and college. He was a fan of the brand early on.  

“I was first introduced to Big Blue Swim School when my children attended lessons in Glenview,” says Schriber. “Once the Level 5 team got involved with Big Blue, we knew this was of significant interest to us and started pursuing the brand as another business to grow within our Shorewood investment model.”

Big Blue Swim School is built differently. Founded by competitive swimmer Chris Dejong, the Chicago-based brand is mission-driven to reduce the risk of drowning and unlock a child's capability in the water. Strong unit economics, proprietary technology, and a distanced-based teaching model focused on developing both swimming and life skills, position Big Blue Swim School's franchisees for long-term success.

 Shorewood Development Group's Roth, a native of the Minneapolis suburb of Orono, sees the Twin Cities as a premier market in the Midwest for expansion.

 “Being involved in BB aligns with my passion and love for the water,” Roth says. “I like the fact that I will be a part of something that gives kids the opportunity to have positive experiences and gain confidence around water by teaching them how to swim.  This truly is a ‘must have’ skill set that gives individuals the confidence to experience all our planet has to offer.”

Along with major multi-unit deals in Chicago and Minneapolis, Big Blue Swim School's national expansion plans include Denver, Salt Lake City, and Atlanta. 

With a passion for entrepreneurial ventures and a vast knowledge and network in the commercial development space, Schriber and Roth are energized to be part of such a game-changing brand. 

 “We feel confident the partnership with Shorewood and BB is well equipped with market knowledge, analytics, and personnel to make the right decisions and get open quickly with the right locations,” Schriber says. “Our goal is to fulfill the 16 schools while continuing to evaluate new market options to expand into. We are hopeful and feel these 16 schools are just the beginning.”  

To learn more about franchise opportunities with Big Blue Swim School, visit


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Published: July 18th, 2019

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