Our Humble Beginnings
Lake Kountry’s History began its inception in 1988 with three simple things: a 2-place trailer to display nursery stock, $2500 cash (from the sale of the family boat) to buy that nursery stock, and the vision to develop a family nursery and landscaping business to encompass the skills and passion of a young and growing family. Parents Steve & Lori and sons Steve Jr. (7), Joe (5) and newborn baby Brian (aptly named “Buggy Boy” by endearing customers who would scoop him up out of his buggy and cuddle him as “mom” checked them out). The addition of son #4, Chad, in 1990 completed the first “employee list”! With no “official” employees yet, when Lori needed to bring the boys to various appointments she would simply leave a note at the checkout counter asking customers to please leave a note on what they had purchased and she would send them a bill in the mail! No credit cards back then – just good, honest “gardeners” who felt totally at home shopping in a beautiful and relaxing environment! Believe it or not, many customers would figure out their bills and just leave cash or a check – those were truly the “good old days”! For the boys, “playing in the dirt” meant working alongside mom, dad, grandmas and grandpas, creating landscaping areas and planting/caring for trees, shrubs and flowers! Joe loved planting morning glory seeds “all by himself”, then happily selling them for 25 cents to customers as they checked out, saving the money for a new toy John Deere tractor. (That tradition continues today, in his memory, as all customers coming to the nursery each year receive a “heavenly blue” morning glory plant. Hundreds are given away each year, along with a note that reminding all to cherish and love those we hold dear to us.)
“Word-of-mouth” advertising from satisfied and loyal customers soon took Lake Kountry, Inc. from part-time landscaping and limited nursery sales to full-time as the dream of creating a successful family business became a reality. As the demand for landscaping services quickly grew, the family embarked on a journey to build their business based on hard work, integrity and honesty – the end goal being to offer their customers top quality products and services. More equipment and vehicles were added to keep up with the demand. With the addition of skilled and valued employees who were always regarded as “family”, Lake Kountry, Inc. grew to new heights not only in landscaping sales, but additional greenhouses, an expanded garden center and a “drive through” tree-yard were added to accommodate the growth in nursery sales.
Ongoing training for team members and keeping all company vehicles and equipment updated and well-maintained continues to be a high priority at Lake Kountry, Inc. Along with complete landscaping services, excavating, irrigation and snow removal services are all integral pieces of the business. Nursery offerings include the newest and greatest in plants, offering new dimension and vigor to landscaping plantings.
The values and implementation of providing top quality products and services along with honesty, integrity and the ability to instill peace of mind to our valued customers remains the instrumental cornerstone of Lake Kountry, Inc.
The family continues to work side-by-side each day – mom and dad (now grandma & grandpa) and those “little boys” whom are now grown and married. This amazing second generation with Steve Jr. heading up business and financial operations, Brian handling the irrigation division and office operations and both helping mom and dad with the nursery and landscaping divisions as well. Lake Kountry, Inc. has also been blessed with an upcoming third generation beginning with the addition of three beautiful granddaughters thus far.
Those basic principles of hard work, integrity and honesty continue – going on 30 years. Simple family values combined with faith, hope and love…and some of the most loyal and amazing employees and customers ever!!! Such were the humble BEGINNINGS of Lake Kountry, Inc. – if you haven’t already experienced the LAKE KOUNTRY DIFFERENCE, stop by soon. You’re sure to be greeted with friendliness and enthusiasm by both the family and team members! They’ll work tirelessly to help you to accomplish your goals as well!