This spring marks the 40th anniversary of Leppek Landscape. Run by the father and son team of Frank and Kory Leppek, the full service landscaping company continues to be at the forefront of the industry, backed by years of experience, knowledgeable staff and talented Michigan State University horticulturists and landscape design graduates.
Leppek Landscape, located at 7341 Grand River Ave., specializes in creating, installing and maintaining beautiful and functional landscape designs for both residential and commercial properties. Seasonal property maintenance is also offered, as well as a supply yard and nursery with a wide selection for do-it-yourselfers and other landscape companies.
The Leppek family has strong ties in Livingston County, and has been involved in the community throughout the years. Both Frank and Kory have also worked with the Hartland School District in various capacities. Frank is currently the varsity boys basketball coach at Hartland High School.
In the Beginning
The history of Leppek Landscape has been a long road, and not without hardships, according to Kory’s wife Lindsay.
Back in 1971, Frank Leppek started taking on landscaping jobs during the summer months, to supplement his income teaching horticulture and landscaping at Hartland High School, a position he enjoyed.
The landscaping business grew so much that Leppek had to make a tough decision.
Knowing that he enjoyed being his own boss, Leppek decided to leave the job he loved at Hartland High and go full-time running Leppek Landscape.
After purchasing the property on Grand River Ave. where the business is presently located, Leppek built a large red barn, planted trees for a tree farm and added a greenhouse. The business continued to grow.
When another landscaping company, Telly’s, moved into the area, Leppek expanded the business to include a large garden center with several additional greenhouses, making more outdoor products available for customers.
The Leppek Nursery and Garden Center continued to be successful until the economy took a downturn, forcing yet another tough decision to be made, that of downsizing the business.
Luckily, English Gardens was looking to lease a building in the area.
According to Kory Leppek, English Gardens, which was founded in Dearborn Heights in 1954 and now has seven stores throughout metro Detroit, was looking to grow, so coming in to run the garden center brought advantages to both family companies.
That's when Frank and Kory Leppek returned to running the original business of Leppek Landscape.
Kory Leppek has helped his father with the business all of his life, but made the decision to become involved full time after he graduated from Central Michigan University in 2002.
Leppek has great respect for what his father has accomplished with the company and the community, he said.
"I grew up watching how hard my dad worked, and all he put into the community, and I wanted to do the same. It was important to me to carry on our family business, and to continue to give to the community an honest, trustworthy business," he said.
Kory Leppek is proud of being a part of Livingston County history, and is bringing up his children in the same tradition of giving and interacting with the community.
"Leppek's has always been a huge donator to the community, and that sense of pride is very overwhelming as my wife and I raise our young sons to give back as well," he said.
Leppek looks forward to more growth in a slowly healing economy.
"We want to continue to grow our business, and establish even stronger roots, especially now after we all finally feel the slow upward climb of the economy again," he added.
When asked what is trending in landscaping sales right now Leppek replied, "Outdoor rooms are a huge trend right now — expanding your living space into the outdoors spring through fall. We've done amazing outdoor kitchens, complete with grills, and patios with built-in fire pits."
"A lot of people can't move, so they are perfecting what they've got. Excellent landscaping — not just average, but excellent landscaping — will add 7 to 10 percent more value to your home," he added.