Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
Chris Beutz founded Green Horizons in 1988 to combine professional landscaping techniques with a growing knowledge of natural ecological cycles that restore spring vibrancy to yards shocked by winter months. In spring and fall, Beutz and his team clear away seasonal debris, lower the ears of lawns, and trim any remaining patches of scruff. Summer services, such as weekly shrubbery trimming and lemonade sprinkling, keep lawns looking good enough for a garden party. Services save homeowners valuable weekend time to attend their children's sporting events or the NBA Spelling Bee.
The Green Guardian nourishes landscapes with an approach that shuns harsh chemicals in favor of effective, all-natural fertilizers, herbicides, and pest-control solutions made from edible ingredients. A proprietary line of products includes vegan herbicides that fertilize lawns as they kill broadleaf and certain grassy weeds, and granular fertilizers that nourish turf with feed-grade corn, soil conditioners, and naturally-occurring microbial stimulants. Pest-control products use odorless garlic to repel mosquitoes, billbugs, grubs, geese, and displaced vampire squid, all without leaving behind an unpleasant smell.
In addition to lawn-care packages and à la carte treatments, The Green Guardian is also registered with DuPont to remove and replace trees killed by the chemical herbicide Imprelis.
Cal Chadwick opened up Cal's Market & Garden Center in 1961, just down the road from his family home and corn farm. Like a 99-year-old earthworm, Cal felt a deep connection with the land, building a greenhouse and tree and shrub nursery before passing down his business to his daughter, Carina, and her husband, Bryan. Today, avid gardeners, farmers, and amateur horticulturalists work hand-in-hand with the friendly, knowledgeable staff at Cal?s to pick out evergreens, plot vegetable gardens, and plan landscaping projects. With the help of personal shoppers, clients can stock up on hanging baskets, bulbs, and soils for creating a fragrant flowerbed. Cal's also offers personal gardening services, including planting, weeding, designing, and maintaining your plants.
Few people can say they started in their profession as a teenager. Jacob Servais of Pine Ridge Landscaping & Tree Services is one of those few: he interned at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and Horticultural Research Center when he was just 14 years old, when most kids are just climbing trees or dismembering them for slingshot parts. The passion he discovered in that internship led him to give landscaping a shot as a career, and, in turn, to venture out on his own as an entrepreneur.
From the company's founding in 2006 onward, Jacob and wife Jennifer have run their landscaping outfit as a full-service company, complete with two crews of specialists in landscaping and tree handling. Homeowners can look to the landscapers for jobs that span their outdoor property and the seasons, from installation of trees for an envisioned landscape to removal of snow from driveways and sidewalks in the wintertime.