How We Started

It’s pretty amazing what a little creativity combined with a desire to earn money can produce!

When Dan was a teenager he was “the” kid neighbour to have; mowing lawns, cleaning gutters, painting fences and helping out neighbours after school and on weekends. Then once he started University, armed with sheer determination to help pay tuition costs, Dan strapped on his roller blades (which were cool at the time) and hit the streets to hand-deliver the same flyer he had used growing up. By then he had learned how to work hard and quite a bit about gardening, labouring and other odd jobs. After picking up a few jobs here and there he was approached by a client’s friend who lived on Land’s End Road, who was looking for some gardening assistance at her property.

Without a vehicle, working on Land’s End meant rising early. Dan took the one and a half-hour bus ride to Swartz Bay, then made the trek to her house in 20 minutes on the now infamous roller blades, and put in a full 8 hours of manual labour, only to roller blade back to the ferry and bus home! Three days later when the job was complete, the lady happened to mention that her neighbour who was redoing his landscaping was looking for someone to give him a hand. After meeting with the gentleman, Dan was offered full-time work for the summer. That summer he learned how to drive excavators, skid steers, install irrigation, lawns, gardens, stone walls, plants and ponds. In retrospect, Dan estimates that he probably spent more hours on BC Transit than any other islander that summer!

That fall he went back to university but was craving to get back to working outdoors and learning more about gardening. The next spring he bought a truck, picked up additional clients and hired a couple fellow UVic students with landscaping experience to help him out. During the summer months, they landed a job for an American who was building a huge mansion on West Saanich Road and wanted Dan and crew to work hand in hand with a high end landscape designer they had hired to design and supervise the project. They ended up working for this same client full-time for almost two years from the beginning labour of prepping the grounds to learning to lay slate patios, developing planting designs/plans, building outdoor fireplaces, installing irrigation systems – you name it and they did it, all to the customer’s exacting requests.

During this time Dan also continued to grow the maintenance and gardening section of his business and in 2007 registered Costa Verde as a bone fide company.  Because of Costa Verde’s local personal approach, Dan’s leadership and great staff, they have been very busy! From 2007-2017 they experienced 50% growth per year.  At the peak Costa Verde had over 50 full time employees working year round.

In 2018 Dan decided to continue his learning and get involved with a great consulting company to restructure the company after all the growth. Since then they have been rebuilding the company from the ground up. Business and Financial Planning, Organization Structure, all new Systems and Apps, Standard Operating Procedures, Onboarding and Training procedures, a Professional Sales Process, and many more game changing items. Alot of work!

In 2020 Costa Verde really honed in on the core services they offer- Landscaping, Gardening and Maintenance with systems and procedures for everything they do in place.  Each division is now run by a set manager who oversees the customers journey from initial contact and estimate to managing the project to the final walk throughs with all clients.  They now employ a toned down staff of 35 people consisting of only professional landscapers, masons and horticulturists and experienced gardeners. Dans solid office staff and crew are dedicated to providing top-notch customer service, all delivered in an organized, professional and friendly manner.

If you’re considering getting an amazing outdoor living space or sprucing up your home’s curb appeal, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to provide you with an obligation-free estimate.

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