For Leslie Ewing Kitch, running the landscaping business her father Bruce founded in 1956 is more than just a job. Working alongside her husband Mike and brother Rob, the three are determined to carry on his legacy.
“He instilled his love and passion of landscaping but also his attention to detail, integrity, honesty and a strong work ethic. Our philosophy has always been to exceed expectations,” says Leslie. “We value and understand the importance of using the highest quality plants and products and we have employees who are knowledgeable, experienced and professional.”
Those employees have been instrumental in helping to build a strong reputation over the past 67 years, says Kitch, and she credits them for the company’s success.
“The combined experience of the designers and managers alone is over 225 years, and we’re only talking about eight people. That’s just their experience while employed at Bruce Ewing Landscaping. Many of them have been in the landscape industry more than half their lives, which I think shows just how passionate they are about what they do,” she explains.
“We know the difficulty of finding new people, which is why we do our very best to keep our employees,” adds Mike. “We owe that to our customers.”
“Our business model is different than most. While many competitors focus on getting new employees and new customers yearly, we focus on maintaining long-term relationships with employees, clients and vendors. A lot of our clients we’ve worked with for 10, 20, 30 years. Those relationships are really important to us,” says Rob.
Bruce Ewing Landscaping is comprised of two main components. The landscape design & installation division focuses primarily on residential properties, bringing the client’s vision for plants, patios and other outdoor spaces to life. Its custom maintenance teams visit properties on a regular basis to ensure that the lawn, flower beds and other landscaping remain beautiful.
“We might have one crew that mows your grass, one that weeds your beds and another that plants your flowers. Our teams are constantly communicating with each other and providing consistency,” says Leslie. “The days of ‘let’s just do a spring cleanup and then come back in the fall’ doesn’t provide the best quality. We recognize the most efficient way to keep our clients’ properties looking their best at all times is for one company to complete all the work. Our season-long landscaping maintenance services are custom tailored for each property. From bed maintenance to mowing and fertilization to seasonal flowers, we offer it all.”
Knowing that a well-trained, knowledgeable staff leads to higher customer satisfaction, the owners say little things can make a big difference when it comes to employee retention.
“During COVID when fast food restaurants were closed, we started packing lunches for the employees,” says Leslie. “We’ve continued to do that. We have a cart that we set out with sandwiches, fruit, drinks and snacks, and every day they come in and pack their own lunch. It’s a huge money saver for our employees and they’re eating healthier. It also makes for a more efficient day when they’re at a job site and can sit in their truck for a bit to eat, and then keep going when they’re finished. We thought about stopping it, but it’s just the right thing to do for our team members.”
The bottom line is consistency, according to Rob. By having the same employees and same vendors working together year after year, they’re able to provide a top-notch experience and service for their clients, which is the foundation upon which Bruce Ewing Landscaping was built.
“I think it’s important to work with a reputable company that is knowledgeable and stands behind their work. We want to build those relationships and be accessible. We’re here for the long haul,” concludes Leslie.
Address: 124 N. Thomas Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46808
Phone: (260) 432-2785