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Approaching its fifth year in business, KJK Lawncare has grown by establishing roots in the community and treating their customers as well as employees like family.
Owned by Josiah Cherry, an entrepreneur with a passion for being outdoors, came from a management background before founding KJK. Growing up among his family’s winery in Missouri, Cherry saw the value of what a hard day’s work could accomplish and decided he wanted to venture out on his own.
“I’ve always loved working with my hands, so that inspired me to give it a go to start our own lawncare operation,” Cherry said.
While he didn’t grow up in the lawncare industry, the skills he learned at the winery translate beautifully into day-to-day life as a business owner and entrepreneur. Not only does Cherry work alongside his team members on their daily projects, but he also serves on the Nebraska Turfgrass Association Board of Directors.
“I’m actually president of the board this year and that partnership is what has helped my business be successful,” Cherry said. “We funded the UNL Turf program, so we’ve been able to utilize a lot of their research to help better our skills as a company.”
The lawncare industry can be quite competitive, but Cherry’s philosophy is one of cooperation.
“Each year in January, I give business coaching to other lawncare operators about things that have helped my business, hurt my business, and helped me grow,” he said.
Rather than operating as competitors, Cherry wants businesses to make each other better and build the industry as a whole.
When Cherry started his business, the name KJK Lawncare came easily to him.
He knew the business would take up a great deal of time away from his family and wanted the constant reminder of why he went into business. So he used the names of his wife Krissie, daughter JJ and son Kaden to create the “moniker “KJK.”
KJK Lawncare was selected as the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Month for May. Cherry said it felt “phenomenal” to be recognized.
“We love giving back to the community,” he said. “We’ve been part of the chamber for a little while now, and to be recognized for what we’re doing is huge.”
Part of his company’s success is his two philosophies: treat every lawn with care and have fun.
Cherry said his service would treat a lawn at a north Omaha home and an executive office in Waterloo with the same level of professionalism.
“All of our properties get a high level of service, and we treat them like we would treat our own lawns,” he said.
Reed Board, one of Cherry’s employees, said the job has been an eye-opening experience.
“Joe is a great person and is particularly good with customers,” Board said.
Ridge Barnes, another KJK employee, said he loves working outside with his hands.
“If I can spend an extra 20 minutes doing something for a customer that I know is going to make their property better, I’ll do it,” Barnes said.
Even though Cherry owns and runs the business, he still works on lawns with his team every day.
“I’m not a hands-off manager,” Cherry said.
KJK Lawncare treats its community like family and adopts five families every season who are have military deployed or fighting cancer. They also select various nonprofits to redesign their landscaping at no cost.
“We wouldn’t be here without our community and our clients,” Cherry said. “I’ve always loved giving back to a community that we’re a part of.”
Cherry said his company is always looking for nominations of families or charities that could use assistance. Email any suggestions to email@example.com.
“We want to get as many stories as we possibly can and pick the five families that we can impact the most,” Cherry said.
For more information on KJK Lawncare, visit kjklawncare.com.