Mowing and watering instructions for you lawn

ChemTurf Family BusinessChemTurf Lawn Service has been a family business since 1968 and still has many family members involved: Jordan Kaufman (Son), Trudy Kaufman (Grandmother), Bruce Kaufman (Father), Jill Kaufman (Mother), Jonathan Kaufman (Son), Aurey Kaufman (Son)

Tell me about your business.

We service the county in regard to seeding, fertilizing, weed control, insecticides, pesticides, tree and shrub spraying, tick spray, deep root feeding, aeration, etc.

We take the current conditions of someone’s lawn and turn it into a lush and green space to spend time with family. We help grow and maintain that space to enhance the curb appeal of a home and raise the property value.

Our tree spraying company provides fertilization and nutrients to the trees and shrubs on someone’s property.

When was the business started? Who was the founder?

The business was started in 1968 by my grandfather Howard Kaufman. Originally, it was a franchise (first of its kind in the country called Lawn-A-Mat), and then he branched off on his own with his two sons, Bruce (my father) and Scott (my uncle) in 1974. In 1978, my father married my mother Jill and she became the office manager. In 2007, we unfortunately lost my grandfather at the age of 82; this is when I became more involved in the business. In 2010, my uncle Scott passed away, causing me to take a more aggressive role in the daily operations. In 2011, my brothers Jonathan and Aurey became involved with the behind the scenes technology and office items.

How has your business changed since the beginning?

The business has changed dramatically since 1968 with new chemical formulations, new types of weeds and grasses developed, new machinery and technology and laws that limit certain chemicals and pesticides as wells as many, many, many new regulations. There is also a lot more competition since we started with many people who do not have the expertise or knowledge base to know how certain chemicals will affect grasses and weeds and that there is a scientific method to growing and maintaining a lawn. There are certain ways to mow the grass and water the lawn at different times of the year. Also, the way the chemicals and seed are applied to the property make a big difference; you can’t just “throw it down” like many gardeners do.

What problems are most frequently named by family businesses as interfering with happy families and successful companies?

The problems with working with families and keeping harmony is that everyone feels they are in charge and can do what they want; the lines between family and business are thin so taking advantage is very easy. One family member can tell the employees to do one thing while the other family member is saying to do it another way. There are always constant fights on how things should operate and of course, finances is always a big topic to discuss.

Growing a company is always harder with family because everyone feels they know the right way. There needs to be a strict line between who is in charge and how major changes and decisions are made that are common for one goal: building a business and making everyone happy.

As seen in "Inside Westchester County"

The Kaufman family was featured in an article about local family businesses which appeared in "Inside Westchester County" published by Home Town Media Group in June.

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