The Landscaper Corp: Eduardo and Darwin Alvarez put down roots, Mt Kisco and Chappaqua, NY.
If your horticultural efforts are wilting on the vine, let brothers Eduardo and Darwin Alvarez of The Landscaper Corp. lend a hoe. The Guatemalan immigrants do the weekly mow, spring clean ups, tree removal, and mulching, but they can also dig through years of experience to landscape with perennial sedums, heirloom seeds from the Hudson Valley, and native woodland species to put your suburban garden into the perfect vegetative state of mind.
Thanks to a loan of $30,000 from Community Capital, the Alvarez brothers were able to purchase a truck, a wood chipper and a snow plow to create a more competitive menu of services for Westchester clientele, workers compensation for the two Hispanic workers the business now employs full time, and liability insurance. The Landscaper Corp., which the duo started three years ago by doing maintenance for three houses, now works on between 35 and 40 homes in Chappaqua, Mount Kisco, Pleasantville, Bedford, Pound Ridge and New Canaan. And Eduardo, a single parent, was recently able to move to a much nicer apartment along with his six year old daughter Sofia. “I never thought I could feel this happy,” he says. “Now I’m able to offer my customers more services, support my family much better, grow my business and provide the best for my daughter. It’s the American Dream. I’m so grateful.”
How did you get into the landscape business?
My brother and I used to work for others, but started our business almost three years ago, with three homes, just doing basic lawn maintenance, mowing, clean ups, fertilizing, and weeding. I found working for another company didn’t work for me. I wasn’t in a position to really help the customers—with estimates, or allowed to answer questions– and that was frustrating.
How did you get your business off the ground?
By referrals. Word of mouth.
How did your business evolve?
I do a very personal job. As an owner, I’m always there to talk to the customer. When I worked for other landscape companies, the owners were always in different places, never on site, and it didn’t work. My business grew hugely thanks to the loan from Community Capital. It let me buy the truck, a wood chipper, a snow plow, and workers compensation and liability insurance to cover the business and my two employees and myself. With the bad winter we had (2014), I was able to use the snow plowing to introduce the business to many more customers. I haven’t actually had to even use the wood chipper, but it’s increased my customer base because customers want to know I can provide the service if they need it. They need to know that I can.
Best advice you ever received?
To take Community Capital’s QuickBooks class and do their webinars. Also, for my brother to get his MBA (he has another year to go). And moving to Chappaqua. Not only did it create better opportunities for my daughter, but I found a cleaner, better apartment which came with a parking spot for my truck.
What did you wish you knew?
How difficult it is to do marketing. I’ve done zero marketing, and am about to hire someone to create a website for us.
Professional lettering for the truck. To continue to build the business, house by house, referral by referral, and to develop a marketing plan and website so customers can see all the services we’re capable of doing.