As Howard K. Freilich’s company nears its 40th anniversary, it has just expanded with the acquisition of the award-winning kokobo greenscapes, a landscape design/build firm out of Long Island City, and will soon open its first retail spot.
“The basic core of what we’ve been doing has just been expanding and growing,” Freilich tells us during our catching-up conversation. “I couldn’t be any happier. Things are just absolutely great.”
And we can see why.
The recent acquisition of kokobo greenscapes, he says, is a boost to the growing exterior landscape division of Blondie’s, upgrading its irrigation and landscape lighting capabilities with a dedicated unit.
But as Freilich sees it, “You’re really not buying clients as much as you’re getting good staff.”
He points to the fact that within Blondie’s, more than 60 percent of the staff has been with the company 18 years or longer.
“We’re always looking to build on that,” he says.
Blondie’s, if you recall, launched in 1979 as a one-man operation — Freilich, then living in White Plains, started out of a humble camper — and has grown to some 100 full-time employees serving 1,000 accounts around the country each year. Its services include residential and commercial properties, resorts and hotels and work with developers, managers and owners.
“We’ve been going through double-digit growth the last couple of years,” Freilich says.
And, he tells us that he is also “actually very proud to announce” the launch of the company’s first retail floral shop in Manhattan, which will soon join not only the Mamaroneck headquarters but the longtime Manhattan showroom.
The combination of the “whole floral studio” to complement the retail setting, Freilich says, “gives us the ability to do a lot more with our clients and for our clients.”
Throughout varied projects, Freilich continues to keep an eye on the trends and adjust offerings.
“Green walls have become very, very in vogue,” he says, noting that Blondie’s has been doing many, both natural and artificial, in both residential and commercial settings of late.
“We did a big green wall in a corporate office” in Tarrytown, and in Greenwich, Blondie’s is at work on a high-profile project that features “an outdoor plaza with fountains and waterfalls.”
Just in time for summer.
For more, visit blondiestreehouse.com.