DETROIT – The landscaping outside of The Thome Rivertown Neighborhood senior living facility on McDougall Street in Detroit was done by a Black-owned business. In fact, the company was started by a man who then passed it on down to his son.
“Landscaping is the first impression that people get when they pull up to your facility,” explained Dexter Erves.
HD Landscaping, a full services landscaping company, does it all.
“We do everything from design, we’ll come out and meet with your clients, design a look, consult with them, make some suggestions,” said Dexter. “And then we go from design to installation and after we install it we come back and maintain it.”
This Black-owned business was started by Dexter and his father, Henry. They’ve been in business for more than 40 years.
“Here we put in a lot of the landscaping that you see on the exterior. Rosebushes, oriental grasses, daylilies and things like that,” Dexter showed.
Business hasn’t always been easy. Dexter explained the challenges they’ve faced being a Black-owned business.
“Sometimes there’s barriers to entry,” he said. “Not knowing about all the opportunities. Not being able to access some of the key people who are putting together some of the larger projects. Those are some of the tough challenges. We’re not always invited to some of the opportunities in the city. You keep going after barriers to opportunities -- one no doesn’t mean that’s the end of business.”
Today the company does only business or corporate landscaping throughout Metro Detroit. It’s proven to be the secret to their success.
“I was fortunate enough to do some work for the federal government as a GSA contractor,” Dexter explained. “I’ve been fortunate to do some work for some large companies. Really marketing myself, putting myself out there, networking and connecting with other business owners through various organizations, charities and things like that. It really helps to spread the word and allowed us to grow.”
Grow and carry on the family business his father started.
“We’ve been busy ever since the governor allowed us to go back to work and we’re just trying to get back on schedule and keep up with all the projects that we have. We’re booked up until next year,” he explained.