This spring we will soon be welcoming the warm weather, but also a renewed hope of life soon returning to normal. As many Ohioans begin beautifying their homes and gardens in April, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced the Ohio lawn and garden businesses that are a part of his April Ohio Business Spotlight. This month’s business spotlight highlights many family-owned businesses that started with an idea and some hard work and now serve thousands of Ohioans across the state. Across Ohio, young men and women are earning spending money by mowing neighbors' lawns and some will turn this into a thriving business. Some Ohio businesses started with a teenager and a dream before they registered on the Secretary of State’s website and made it official. The businesses we spotlight this month are just a few of the great entrepreneurs and businesses that are helping Ohio get ready for summer!
In 1910, Ernest Graf Sr. left the South Akron Tile Plant and moved his family to west Akron to build a new life and follow his passion for growing vegetables. His descendants followed in his footsteps, buying more land in the area and transitioning from wholesale to direct sales as the market changed. They then expanded with a greenhouse and garden center which now accounts for 70% of their business. The Grafs even have a mobile flower truck!
Having worked in the interior plantscape industry for over five years, Elio Calabrese has an extensive knowledge of plants, plant design, and purchasing. After many years of dreaming and planning, Urban Planting Cleveland was founded in the Summer of 2017.
Stocking dozens of plants of different sizes for different kinds of light, even pet safe varieties, Urban Planting offers curbside pickup, including delivery, for Clevelanders looking to have a bit of green in their life.
Now a full-service company, DJ Aldrich started by offering to cut dead trees for residents in his community, sold the firewood to afford his first truck, and ultimately started Aldrich Landscaping in 1988. They now specialize in outdoors work all year long, from weekly lawn maintenance to snow removal (Very important in Toledo!).
They hire 20+ local youth in the busy season and DJ’s own son has taken some responsibility, increasing business 20 percentwith his ideas. Aldrich Landscape again proves a great way to provide for your family and create generational wealth is to start a small business and work hard.
Family owned and operated since 1904, the fourth-generation siblings and the experienced staff supply landscape and gardening needs while transforming the farm for seasonal events. Starting as a dairy and hog farm, then switching to crops in the 1950s, then to a garden center in the 1980s, the family has found a way to adapt and provide the public with not only quality products, but a family oriented agritourism tradition for many Ohioans. Their Fall Festival in October is a must for those in the area.
20+ years ago, Buck had a riding mower and the drive to make some extra money for his family. Now he has two trucks with trailers, four mowers, and employs a few local youth each summer to try and keep up with his expert mowing skills. During the winter you can find him at his other business, Community Bowling Lanes in Georgetown, Ohio.
Charles Buck Sr. grew up selling produce and owned a floral shop before, at the request of his floral customers, expanding his services to include outdoor landscape services in 1971. A year later, Buck and Sons became official as Charlie’s two sons would work part-time while attending school. Incorporated in 1975 and with a total of four employees, the company focused on providing landscape maintenance services with a small percentage of new landscape installations.
They have since grown by adding a mix of commercial and residential landscape installation, irrigation and maintenance business, and being the first landscape contractor in central Ohio to integrate Computer-Aided Design into their landscape design. A third generation has recently joined the business as well, with Charlie’s grandchildren, Jared Buck and Amanda Buck Rhoades, signing on.
Reference to any non-state resource, including non-state web sites linked to this site, does not constitute an endorsement of any goods, products or services by the State of Ohio or the Ohio Secretary of State. The Ohio Secretary of State is not responsible for the contents of any non-state Web sites linked to this site, and any views expressed on such Web sites do not necessarily represent the views of the Ohio Secretary of State or the State of Ohio. You assume any and all risk associated with the use of any non-state Web site linked to this site. The Ohio Secretary of State and the State of Ohio do not guarantee or warrant any information, services or products advertised or offered on non-state Web sites.