Yard work with a smile
|By Ben Davis - Special to The Highlander | June 9, 2016|
Who wants friendly service and work done right? The answer is everybody.
Insert Jamie and Ben Guenther, two residents of Haliburton.
You may see them on their Vespa or you may see them with a rake and lawn mower. But wherever you see these two, there will be a smile on their face.
The perennial smile and glasses identifies Jamie. The 36 year-old has been in Haliburton for 28 years. She started working for Community Living 11 years ago.
Her husband, Ben, 44, is a native of Stouffville. He moved here eight years ago. Ben has had many jobs in maintenance; anything from eaves trough cleaning to mowing lawns. He was approached by Community Living to do yard work for them. Skilled and experienced, Ben took the opportunity and ran with it.
“Tim [Tofflemire] needed weed-whacking done, so I said I’d do it,” he said.
While working at Community Living, he met Jamie while working alongside her. They have been married for three years. The pair realized that they were capable of taking on their own business.
So, last fall they started their own maintenance business.
They felt that there was a need for friendly maintenance services at fair pricing. Charging $30 an hour for both Ben and Jamie and $25 if customers can pick them up.
They also do flat-rate lawn mowing. Prices range from $20 for small jobs to $50 for extra large.
“We were originally called ‘Happy Guenther’s Yard Work’, but I didn’t really like it,” Jamie admits. “It seemed too long and unprofessional.”
From there, they brainstormed amongst themselves for a new name. ‘Smiling Seasons Yard Work’ was born.
“I want to prove to people that it doesn’t matter what disability you have – whether it be a bad back or some sort of special need – as long as you put your mind to it and believe in yourself, you can do it,” Jamie explains, “you will reach your goals and get what you want.”
Two Smiling Seasons’ customers, Greg and Bonnie Roe, had nothing but good things to say about the service.
“The service they provided was great. Jamie and Ben are both reliable, hard-working people in all aspects of business. It is obvious they love what they are doing. I would highly recommend them to anyone,” Bonnie said.
“They are both very motivated and they work well together,” she added.
When asked if not having a car affects their business, the quick and short answer was ‘no’.
“We are willing to walk around Halibuton to jobs. If there is an urgent job that needs done, sometimes we will get a cab. Customers also do not mind picking us up,” Jamie says.
“We are migrant workers, but still local,” Ben adds.
Already having dozens of callers, the two are looking forward to a busy summer and fall season.
BEN DAVIS is a contributing writer for The Highlander.