Graczyks celebrate growth in new southwest Kearney facility

2022-10-22 13:38:46 By : Ms. Jocelyn Zhang

Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.

Josh and Kristen Graczyk of Elm Creek own Graczyk Lawn & Landscape and will be thanking the Kearney area for its support during a customer appreciation event on Oct. 20. Panel Lift Door Springs

Graczyks celebrate growth in new southwest Kearney facility

KEARNEY — Here’s the condensed version of the Josh and Kristen Graczyk story.

At age 14, before he could legally drive, Josh launched a lawn-cutting business in 1998 in Elm Creek.

Elizabeth Earl, his first customer, tracked Josh’s work in a notebook. Josh also tracked business in a notebook. The eighth grader’s customer base was growing and growing.

Eventually, Josh’s list included the lawn where Kristen lived.

“He did mow my dad’s lawn,” she said, “but we didn’t start dating until 10 years later.”

Romance had to wait because Kristen and Josh went off to college.

Graczyk Lawn & Landscape is celebrating its new facility on Thursday, Oct. 20.

Kristen earned an accounting degree at Bellevue University, and Josh attended Southeast Community College in Beatrice. With help from family and a lot of support from the Elm Creek community, he parlayed the book learning into an expanding business. Before that, Josh was renting space in Elm Creek for his business.

His mother, Cindy Graczyk, drove him to his lawn-cutting appointments until he was old enough for a driver’s license. In 2006-2007, his dad, Jaime, grandfather, Ed, and uncle Jim helped construct a 40-foot-by-80-foot building to house Josh’s lawn care equipment.

Romance blossomed. Josh and Kristen married, and now they’re raising four children in Elm Creek. The family includes son Case, 11, and daughters Charley, 9; Adaline, 6; and Ellis, 4.

Just as their family has grown, so has the business.

After expanding into the rental space and the 40-foot-by-80-foot building, Josh thought his business might level off, but the customer base was spreading to Kearney.

“I thought that building was the last building I would ever need,” Josh said.

Graczyk Lawn & Landscape made its first move into Kearney by leasing a former dance studio on North Railroad Street in southeast Kearney. Around 2018, Josh and Kristen’s lawn care business had sprouted into a variety of complementary ventures.

Lawn care remained the focus in spring, summer and fall, but Josh and Kristen found opportunity in the slow months.

Graczyk Lawn & Landscape expanded into landscape design and installation, commercial snow removal and retaining walls. They also expanded into outdoor paver patios and kitchens (Grindstone Hardscapes), paver sidewalks and driveways, and concrete curbing (Curb-It Inc.).

Graczyk also hangs and stores holiday decorations.

With their business now moving in so many directions, the Graczyks set out to build a facility that would support their company’s sales and services.

On Thursday, Oct. 20, visitors at the Graczyk Lawn & Landscape grand opening will tour the facility and see how it solved challenges and boosted functionality.

Achieving that was a large task, Josh said, because of the variety of work groups, functions and storage areas the building had to accommodate. The layout includes an 8,000-square-foot showroom and office space as well as 23,200 square feet for the mechanic bay, Grindstone Hardscapes displays, mowing crew, wash bay, Curb-It, fertilizer, treated salt, open-air storage and holiday lights.

“I began mowing lawns when I was 14 years old and never would have thought we would have grown this company to what it is today,” Josh said. “I can’t thank our employees enough for their hard work, dedication and a whole lot of grit.”

Kristen and Josh said so much of their success traces back to their upbringing in Elm Creek. They said the community of 900 is tightly knit and supportive, and it is experiencing a surge in young families. It’s a time for giving back, Kristen said, so she is chairing the Elm Creek School Foundation. The organization has scheduled its annual fundraiser banquet for Nov. 4.

Voters recently approved replacing the town’s 101-year-old elementary school. So, as that building rises, the foundation is helping address other needs, including scholarships for graduating seniors.

Also, Graczyk Lawn & Landscape supports Forever Pink. The 501©(3) organization provides focus, support and resources in the Kearney area to financially and emotionally assist people battling breast cancer. After beating breast cancer in 2006, Josh’s mother passed away in 2015 from thyroid cancer.

“We know she’s been with us every step of the way and continues to look over us from above,” Josh said.

During Graczyk Lawn & Landscape’s grand opening and customer appreciation event, customers will have a chance to support Forever Pink.

Josh and Kristen said the grand opening will be an opportunity for them to thank the many people in the Kearney area for their support.

That includes the contractors and vendors who made the building a success.

Graczyk Lawn & Landscape’s grand opening and customer appreciation event will be 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at the new Kearney shop at 1170 30th Ave.

The event kicks off with a Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting. NebraskaLand Bank will serve hamburgers and hot dogs. Customers and vendors can enjoy food, music and facility tours.

Josh said he drew the plans, then project manager Chad Micek with Chief Construction refined the plans and was around during the entire construction process. Josh and Kristen said they appreciated that Chief Construction allowed them to work with local businesses while building their facility at 1170 30th Ave.

Among those businesses are Blessing Construction, GD Construction, NebraskaLand Bank, Double J. Plumbing, Walters Electric, Brungardt Engineering, Mid-Nebraska Garage Doors, EZ Kitchens, M&J Signs, Cottonmill Enterprises, CMH Interiors, Kucera Painting and Russell’s Appliances.

“Our place is set up very well for high production, and that’s important in this business,” Josh said about consolidating operations at the facility in southwest Kearney.

Asked what the next business venture might be, Josh said making the operation and its 30 employees operate smoothly together is the current priority.

“After you build something like this, you want to make it stable,” Josh said. “As long as you do things right, success and growth will follow.”

Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.

The layout for the land indicates a nonexclusive easement for roadways, walkways, ingress and egress, parking of motor vehicles and loading and unloading of commercial vehicles.

With good time he could be eligible for parole in March 2025, and he could possibly be discharged in March 2030.

Orcutt faces up to 53 combined years in prison. Sentencing will be in November.

Joey Psota, 20, was seriously injured Sept. 24 during a two-vehicle crash north of Shelton in rural Buffalo County.

In its first two weekends, Farmer Brown’s Field of Screams has brought in hundreds of people, and the crowds keep getting bigger. 

KEARNEY — Once upon a time, Michelle Lewis was a bored housewife.

Beginning in early January, the morning flight will leave Kearney at 7:30 a.m.

Officers located a handgun that is believed to have been thrown from the vehicle two miles east of Shelton.

KEARNEY — Dr. Aaron Pinion, an allergist at Platte Valley Medical Clinic, is offering a new allergy testing service called “patch testing” to …

Josh and Kristen Graczyk of Elm Creek own Graczyk Lawn & Landscape and will be thanking the Kearney area for its support during a customer appreciation event on Oct. 20.

Graczyk Lawn & Landscape is celebrating its new facility on Thursday, Oct. 20.

Graczyks celebrate growth in new southwest Kearney facility

Heavy Duty Door Springs Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.