Lynn Baker, owner of Greenlynn Lawn and Landscape, is an Emmett Valley born-and-raised success story. How does he do it? According to Lynn, it’s a ‘labor of love’.
“I started mowing lawns for hire in 19988 when I was a freshman in high school,” said Baker. “I kept mowing lawns on the side while I was going to college at BSU at the same time. I realized that this was really what I wanted to do and went full time.”
Baker is a 5th generation of the Valley of Plenty on his mother’s side, Betty Baker, also an entrepreneur and owner of Baker Concrete.
“We still mowed for the same customer I started with in high school up until 3 years ago when she moved away,” said Baker. “There is nothing better than driving down the street and seeing the fruits of your labor on nearly every corner in town. “
Over the years, Greenlynn Lawn and Landscape grew and diversified. Baker has three employees.
“Chad (Baltazor) has worked with me since 1995,” said Baker. He takes care of all the lawn mowing services. That’s 80 lawns a week. In 1996, we put in the first sprinkler system. It was our first new venture. The list has grown every year since that first install. Last year we winterized nearly 400 sprinkler systems in Emmett. That is a testimony to our repeat business. I ran out of business cards over 10 years ago and never ordered any more. Our business is repeat and word of mouth from both customers and other businesses in town.”
Also in 1996, Greenlynn Lawn and Landscape diversified into snow removal and began steadily increasing business and services to eventually include all aspects of landscaping.
“Expanding and looking for new things to add to the business is part out of necessity and part out of looking for something new to keep the job interesting and challenging,” said Baker. “In this business we are at the mercy of Mother Nature no matter the season. In winter, when a storm is forecasted it means waking up every hour to check the weather. Sometimes we work 24 hours straight to get all the snow and ice removed. In spring, when it gets warm and hasn’t rained, everyone needs their sprinkler systems up and running at the same time. Normally we start about April 15th. However, the phone started ringing on April 1st and didn’t stop. It takes us about 3-4 weeks to get them all done.”
In addition to mowing and lawn care, services include planting trees, shrubs, designing beds, fine grading, driveways, fencing of all types, excavating and as of last year, licensed septic installation.
Contact Greenlynn at 365-5401.
The Barn Door is OPEN
Call it country or country-cool, western or hip-western; it’s all fabulous and available for sale at The Barn Door.
“We needed this store,” said owner, Tamara Walker. “This is horse country; there are so many 4-H-ers and people who ride. I had two kids in 4-H and knew what they needed. As far as the tack section goes, I built the inventory with 4-H kids in mind.”
The Barn Door is the second store of Walker’s 3 store strategy and commitment to Downtown Emmett. Her first store is the Hen House which is being revamped to include a new section of Primitive Décor. The next and final store will be The Painted Bird, a whimsical-themed gift and décor store.
“I have the best job in the world,” said Walker. “I have great people who work with me and I get to buy stuff for the stores. I want people to know that Downtown and Main Street is the place to be. It’s fun. The Downtown Business Improvement District is working so hard to help get more great shops and food downtown.”
The Barn Door is located in the old Emmett Cleaners space and has what Walker calls an industrial-western look. From serious horse tack to belt buckle-bling, there is not doubt this is a perfect addition to downtown. The tack section includes saddles, blankets, pads, grooming items and other supplies. The home décor and ‘Barn Novelty’ section are fresh, stylish and absolutely stunning including canvas art, wall art, hanging lanterns, metal stars and all themed to the western lifestyle. Wear-ables include belts, bags and jewelry with all the bling you could ever want.
“Whenever Tamara throws a party you know its going to be amazing,” said Heather Shively, friend and employee. “Our stores are more like a party going on.”
Also joining Walker in her adventure at The Barn Door is Hen House manager, Jackie ‘O’ Oram, and high school student, Natalie Martin. Martin is the daughter of downtown business owners of Little Italy.
“Natalie knows her stuff,” said Walker. “She knows her horses, is in FFA, rodeo and will be a great addition to the store. There is something for everyone here. The store is not just for people with horses. We have lots of cards and gift items. I have to thank Terrie from the Scented Cottage. I bought a lot of her displays and items from the same supplier. So if you liked shopping there, come on down. We are doing so much downtown including events and even involving art with the businesses. If you want to get involved, downtown is a great place to be.”
The Barn Door is located at 140 W. Main St, 365-0662; open Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm.
Merry Maids owners, Fayne Heimbuck and Tirzah Adams, opened July 1999. The secret to the 14-year mother-daughter partnership lies in their relationships and deep-rooted faith.
“I worked at Merry Maids while attending college in Arizona,” said Adams. “I got to know the company, their values and even won a ‘Merry Maids’ Olympic gold medal in 1984. Years later, when Fayne and I purchased our franchise we went to a two week training class. One day they announced there was a celebrity in class. We are looking around for the celebrity and someone shouts ‘cue the video’. Up on screen are me and my Merry Maids partner from 1984 in those silly games, rolling vacuum cords like a rodeo roper and racing vacuum cleaners. Who says cleaning is dull?”
Anyone who knows Tirzah (aka TJ, Jeanette, or TT depending on how and when you met her), knows life is anything but dull for her and family and friendships relationships run deep. No truer or deeper friendship exists than that with her mother, Fayne.
“I had moved back to Idaho with Tim (husband, Tim Adams) to help my grandma take are of grandpa,” said Adams. “I was working for Merry Maids in Boise as well. The new owner kept telling me I needed to buy a Merry Maids franchise. Fayne was working for Boise Cascade in Human Resources at the time and looking to retire out. We talked about it and set up a conference call with the home office. We prayed about it before we went into the conference room and by the time we came out, we had a franchise.”
Like all great entrepreneurs, this team started in a garage! It soon became clear that this arrangement would need some adjusting.
“My husband Roger talked to the guy who owned the building we are in,” said Fayne. “Roger struck a deal to purchase the building and the storage units behind us. This was truly a family endeavor. It’s a God thing that we are here, and that we are still here.”
Their franchise, while small compared to other Merry Maids, covers a large geographic area including the counties of Gem, Payette and Malheur. They also have customers in Horseshoe Bend and Weiser.
“We have managed to weather the economic turns by adjusting our business practices,” said Adams. “We changed the size of our teams and days we operate to Tuesday through Friday. We also have never lost focus on who we serve. We provide excellent customer service and pride ourselves on having caring employees, being reliable, licensed, bonded and fully insured. Residential or light commercial, give us a try, we guarantee our work.”
Merry Maids, 301 W. Main St; 398-8208.