MARSHALL - When Gene Schrunk needed to lighten the load a bit from his lawn/landscaping business, he turned to another local long-time, family-owned business.
Greenwood Nursery, which has stores in Marshall and Tracy, has recently purchased the part of Schrunk's business that involves irrigation.
Schrunk has run his business, The Lawn Ranger, for 26 years. But because of health reasons, he decided to sell. Jeff Farber, owner/president of Greenwood Nursery, said that the nursery would get calls several times a week, wanting to know if it did irrigation work.
Photo courtesy of the Tracy Headlight-Herald
Pictured are Jeff Farber, owner and president of Greenwood Nursery, and Gene Schrunk, who ran his business, the Lawn Ranger, for 26 years. Greenwood Nursery recently bought Schrunk’s irrigation business.
"We had always said no," Farber said. The nursery had lost landscaping jobs because of that, he said.
"They were getting into the irrigation business, and Jeff is an excellent businessman," Schrunk said. "He's a real professional guy, and I felt if I was going to back out on some of this stuff...when you spend 26 years in a business...you want it taken over by someone to protect the reputation of it."
So Schrunk approached Farber and Greenwood Nursery about buying the irrigation part of his business.
"He had talked to me last year about it," Farber said about the possibility of Greenwood taking over. Farber said that Schrunk had done some repair work for Greenwood Nursery. "He's done that for many years."
Farber said Schrunk told him Greenwood Nursery should learn how to do the irrigation aspect of his business.
"(We) sent a couple of guys to training to be able to repair irrigation systems and troubleshoot problems," Farber said.
Farber said his son-in-law, Matt Jones, who does maintenance, repair and sales at both the Tracy and Marshall locations; Tyler Clouse, who has been with Greenwood Nursery for two years, were sent to training. Rod Lawrence, a new employee of Greenwood, was a partner in a landscape and irrigation company.
"He had 10 years prior experience in irrigation, (was an) estimator and designer for a landscaping business," Farber said about Lawrence. "So we have three people for our irrigation crew."
Schrunk said this puts Greenwood into a full-fledged landscaping business.
"He can do anything for people," Schrunk said.
Farber said Greenwood also bought Schrunk's customer list and some of his equipment. Schrunk had 120 residential customers and 10 commercial accounts.
"Gene had built up an excellent business," Farber said.
"Marshall has been a great city to do business," Schrunk said. "I'm going to miss the interaction with my customers." He said he appreciates that his customers would support Farber and Greenwood Nursery and will rely on them for their irrigation needs.
"These guys will be Johnny-on-the-spot," Schrunk said. He said he's comfortable with the deal with Farber, and he's glad his business is going into good hands that will keep it going.
Farber said he plans to take care of Schrunk's customers the same way Schrunk did.