Award-Winning Bruss Landscaping Celebrates 60 Years in Business and a Legacy of Shaping the Home Landscape Industry

August 28, 2012 marks the 60th anniversary of Wheaton-Glen Ellyn contractor Bruss Landscaping - owned and operated by three generations of plantsmen.

Wheaton, IL, August 15, 2012 --( With the average lifespan of a family business being less than 25 years - and with only 15% that make it to the 3rd generation, family-owned and operated Bruss Landscaping announces it has achieved the rare milestone of celebrating 60 years of service to its customers and the community.

Bruss and Company, Inc. as it was first known, was started in 1952 by Carl and Anne Bruss. The couple and their five children relocated to the Chicago area from Wisconsin setting up a 5-acre nursery to grow fruit trees, which Carl sold door-to-door in the then sparsely populated western suburbs of Chicago. Some years later the land would be claimed by the state through the process of eminent domain to extend the state's tollway system. The company vowed to keep a presence along the community's main thoroughfare which had brought them success in years prior, and so to this day maintains an office and design studio on Roosevelt Road in historic Wheaton, IL, just a few miles west of their original location.

In 1959, before ideas about landscaping or "outdoor living" were a part of daily life, Carl Bruss helped shape the concept of the modern retail garden center to meet the demands of the increasing number of suburbanites flocking to Chicago's collar counties. That year he constructed a 7,500 square foot building alongside their retail nursery where he could provide a greater variety of plants and products developed just for the home gardener.

The couple's sons Bob and Bill purchased the business from them in 1965 and continued the pattern of steady, controlled growth from the mid-60's, through to the 70's and 80's. With big yards and visible style trends influencing the growing middle and upper middle class, the re-named business - Bruss Nursery, evolved to meet the needs of their customers by offering professional landscape design and installation services - a "luxury" that in the not-too-distant-past existed only in the realm of a few wealthy estate owners employing full-time gardeners.

In 1985, Bill left the company to pursue other goals. Bob continued to operate the business but focused solely on the design and installation side, foregoing the garden center with the arrival of big-box stores that sold nursery goods at prices far below what an independent retailer could.

While growing up, all of Carl and Anne's grandchildren were expected to help out at the garden center including Eric Bruss (Bob's son, born in 1970, three months after Carl passed away). As he got older Eric worked as a laborer on the landscape installation crews, and also helped sell pumpkins and Christmas trees during the holidays. While in college Eric made the decision to join the family business that his grandfather, whom he had never met, had started.

After graduation in 1993 with a degree in Landscape Horticulture, Eric started at the bottom of the business learning the ins and outs of each function - from cleaning the trucks to running the nursery, to purchasing materials, to design and sales.

In 1996 when Eric was just 26 years old, an illness left his father unable to work, putting the future of the company and its employees in Eric's hands. With only 3 years business experience under his belt, Eric, with the help of the company's Landscape Architect Arnold Kroeze (who today is the company's Vice President), rose to a leadership role at the 40+ year old company, inaugurating the third generation of family ownership and an era of greater efficiencies, extensive employee training, and increased mechanization, while maintaining his inherited commitment to fiscal fitness and controlled growth.

As the Company celebrates it's 60th year in business it has continued to evolve - implementing significant recycling programs for heavily-used plastic planting containers, concrete, and asphalt spoils, as well as a large composting operation. Recently, Bruss Landscaping was named the winner of the 2011 Unilock Award of Excellence in the category of "Best Permeable Paver Installation." Water-permeable paving products are a recent innovation, with the primary purpose of allowing water from rainfall or other sources to drain through the pavement, instead of running off into already over-burdened storm sewers, an issue of great concern for most municipalities.

Eric Bruss is immeasurably grateful for the gift his grandfather has given to him and hopes that one day he will pass the business on to a fourth generation of the Bruss family. Eric Bruss feels a profound connection to the grandfather he never met as a result of devoting himself to the family business, "I had no idea at 23 years old that what you did for work could become part of your soul."

Read the detailed history and see more photos at:
Bruss Landscaping, Inc.
Eric Bruss
Denice Shuty
writely yours pr and marketing