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Professionalism, hard work defines grad-owned landscaping operation

Cut Above Enterprises began as a 15-year-old boy’s lawn mowing business, but has since grown into a full-service landscaping company. Photo: Submitted

Just as the name implies, Cut Above Enterprises is a local landscaping company well known for its professional attitude and hard work.

The business began in the mid-1990s with 15-year-old Dean Trondle, who was mowing yards as a high school job. Four or five years later when the business was expanding too rapidly for Trondle to keep up with alone, he was joined by his friend BJ Flora, who now owns the company. The two remained close friends and ran the company together during college. After attending Bob Jones University for two years and completing an associate’s degree in business management, Flora began to  work at Cut Above as a full-time partner.

“When I started, it was just as a job,” Flora said. “But I fell in love with being outside and working in God’s creation. That was the first job He gave man, working in the Garden of Eden.”

Then in 2002, after a failed attempt to buy out another landscaping business, Trondle decided to move on to a new company. Flora bought most of the landscaping accounts and equipment, and the remaining accounts were sold to various other landscapers in the area.

Flora, now the owner, moved the company in a more concentrated direction, focusing on local accounts and projecting a professional image.

“We try to keep ourselves clean cut,” Flora said. “Our appearance is very clean. Customers feel comfortable that we will take care of them the same way we take care of our equipment.”

Now, Cut Above has approximately 15 employees. Depending on the season and how much outdoor work needs to be done, the number of workers can fluctuate between 12 in the winter months and up to 24 in the busy season between April and September.

“Our employees are people who don’t mind hard work, have a good attitude and enjoy being outside,” Flora said.

The company has also rapidly expanded the services it offers. When it originally began, Cut Above was only a lawn care company. Now it has expanded into landscaping as well. Services range from mowing, weeding and tree pruning to installation of  lawn irrigation systems and landscaping of new construction.

But for Flora, his business isn’t primarily about the landscaping. “It’s about the lives we’ve touched,” he said. “Our mission is to be a premier, full-service landscape management company in the Upstate of South Carolina by offering five key values: professionalism, technical skill and competency, communication, consistency and pricing.”

And in order to attain this goal, Flora admits a strong reliance on God and His provision. “I’m not in control; God is,” he said. “He’s given me an opportunity to run a business, but ultimately it’s His. When things get tough, I lean on Him and let Him handle the situation.”