June is the month when the outdoors comes to life. Flowers are blooming, trees have blossomed, and the grass has awakened from its dormant state. It’s also the time when the fathers in our lives turn their attention to outdoor chores. If you want to give the dad in your life a helping hand this year, consider Cherithbrook Farm LLC, a local lawn, landscape and snow maintenance company. Matt and Tara Reeder established Cherithbrook Farm in 1995. Matt grew up in a rural area southeast of Lansing and earned a degree in animal science from Michigan State University. He started the company soon after graduating. Working out of his own backyard, he mowed lawns, raked leaves and performed other landscape maintenance in the spring and summer, and removed snow in the winter. “At first, I did landscape maintenance — mowing, pruning, fertilizing and landscape construction — and snow removal by myself,” he said. The business grew steadily and in 2003, he acquired land nearby and built a salt storage facility that holds up to 1,000 tons of salt. By 2005, to accommodate a growing number of large equipment and increasing manpower, he added another 6,600 square foot building that houses an office and garage. Today, Cherithbrook Farm LLC offers “a full spectrum of exterior services” to residential and commercial clients. These services include lawn mowing; tree, shrub and perennial pruning; lawn fertilization; flower bed weed control; spring and fall leaf clean up; landscape design and construction; and commercial snow and ice removal. Reeder attributes his growth to many things — high-quality work performed by his experienced staff, and loyal customers who are happy to spread the word about the company. Cherithbrook Farm serves about 100 clients — some with multiple locations. Although 65 percent of annual sales are in snow and ice removal, 90 percent of his customers use Reeder’s outdoor services on their properties year-round. “Most of our work is acquired through referrals,” he said. “We have a good reputation.” Cherithbrook Farm employs 12 full-time workers in the summer and a crew of 50 part-timers in the winter. His biggest and steady support comes from his wife Tara who he calls the “CEO of domestic affairs. She manages our three children all under the age of 8 and takes good care of all of us,” Reeder said. “She’s my prayer partner and my best friend.” The other key to his success is that “we have a good reputation. We are a company that our customers can depend on. All of our staff has at least 10 years or more experience, and they’re all family men,” Reeder explained. He has taken on many landscaping projects — large and small. No matter the size, the designers seek to create landscapes that are unique. “We want to customize the projects to create a garden that you don’t normally see,” he said. The landscapers also use materials that blend in well to the existing environment, “just the way God created it,” he said. One large project of note took about a year to construct. The Valley of Blessings sits on the south grounds of Mt. Hope Church at 202 S. Creyts Road. With water features, walkways paved with natural stone, and a perennial garden, this inspirational landscaping is the crown jewel of his projects. “It’s a great example of what we’re capable of,” he said. “We are knowledgeable and thorough, and we don’t cut corners. We have a reputation for delivering more than is expected. You can trust us to be honest and have your best interest at heart.” And they listen to their customers’ needs. Some want help with just the design and want to buy and install the plant materials themselves. Others want to leave the whole project in the capable hands of the Cherithbrook Farm staff. Regardless, Matt and his crew help customers have a look that “rocks their socks off,” he said. So, if your landscaping needs some sprucing up or a complete overhaul, Cherithbrook Farm LLC has got you covered.
Ann Cool, MPS, is a freelance writer who lives in Mason with her husband Bob.