Mia and Joe Heil recently broke ground on construction for their preschool at 1901 W. 34th St. Oak Forest Academy is scheduled to open in January.
The Heils purchased about an acre from Braun Enterprises to build the school. Both Oak Forest Academy and Braun’s development next door at 2001 W. 34th St. are on the land formerly owned by Aztec Rental.
The school is a new venture for the Heils, who are former Oak Forest residents. Mia Heil said although she’s been interested in education her whole life, she originally earned a finance degree and worked in consulting and oil and gas.
Six years ago, when she had her son, her desire to be involved in the education industry was reignited. She realized the tremendous impact of education and childcare on children and their parents, and she began to formulate plans for an early education center that would use creative and innovative methods to maximize the positive impact for students, parents, teachers and the local community.
“I saw so many opportunities to improve upon the traditional approaches to early childhood education,” Heil said.
She recruited a team of experts to help develop the concept, which is now Oak Forest Academy.
Now a mother of three, Heil is ready to open Oak Forest Academy, which will serve infants through preschool-aged children. She said capacity for the school is 220 children, and there are full-week and partial-week options available.
On board are Education Curriculum Director Jolene Yoakum, Operations Director Lisa Gale and Speech Language Pathologist Emily Wooten.
“We’re still enrolling, and we’re so excited for the opportunity to serve this wonderful community,” Heil said.
For more information, visit www.oakforestacademy.com.
Flying Saucer Pie Shop reopened
After announcing it was closing for a “much-needed facelift” in May, Flying Saucer has completed a remodel and general spruce-up. The store said it had hoped to be back in business for Father’s Day but opened its doors again a few days after that.
Improvements include new counters, a new back cooler, new floors and a new roof.
The iconic space mural featuring the happy green alien is still there – a nod to Flying Saucer’s origins during the rise of the Apollo spaceflight program – and there are some new murals in the works.
“We are getting Magik to paint us two new ones,” Flying Saucer said on its Facebook page. “One for the front and one for the back.”
Schlotzsky’s restaurants rebrand
Schlotzsky’s has rebranded its remaining 370-plus restaurants with the name of the city where it was founded in 1971. The change to Schlotzsky’s Austin Eatery took effect in Houston on June 22 and, according to a news release, the restaurants will feature “handcrafted food and beverage offerings, an eclectic, purposeful design and a unique dining experience.”
Select Schlotzsky’s Austin Eatery locations will also carry craft beer and wine and feature happy hours throughout the week. Schlotzsky’s is also focusing on third-party delivery, catering, take-out and drive-thru efficiencies.
Don’t worry, the menu still includes The Original Schlotzsky’s sandwich.
Heights dentist named top in Houston
Dr. Mina Tabatabai, who operates Minali Dental at 7700 Fulton St. #A, was nominated in Htown Magazine as one of the 2019 top pediatric dentists in Houston.
“I am thrilled to be part of the Greater Heights community,” Tabatabai said. “We have sponsored and are part of many schools in this area as well.”
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