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5 Questions: John Jr. & Bill Caramanico

June 4, 2021 -  By
From left to right: Mike Caramanico, Bill Caramanico, John Caramanico Jr., John Caramanico Sr. (Photo: C. Caramanico & Sons)

From left to right: Mike Caramanico, Bill Caramanico, John Caramanico Jr., John Caramanico Sr. (Photo: C. Caramanico & Sons)

John Jr. & Bill Caramanico

President & Secretary/Treasurer, C. Caramanico & Sons, Upland, Pa.

1. Tell me about C. Caramanico & Sons.

John: We are a commercial landscape contractor in the Philadelphia region. We service a five-county area in Pennsylvania, south Jersey and northern Delaware. We have about 125 team members. We look to be a solutions provider for our customers whether that be patios, tree takedowns, landscape enhancements — whatever we can do to improve the property. Our best clients value curb appeal … they want their properties
to have a wow factor.

2. This year the company celebrates 75 years in business. You two are the fourth generation of Caramanicos to run the business. What early memories do you have about Grandpa Dan?

John: He lived next door to us. I’m his oldest grandson. When he bought a truck, it was a Chevy S-10 extended cab in the early ’80s. Back then, trucks were standard cabs with a bench seat. He was so proud of this truck because it had seats in the back so that Bill and I could ride around with him. I remember him taking us to job sites. He started a nursery 15 minutes from where we lived. It was always special to go with him; we’d stop at Wawa and get a treat.

Bill: We were raised in the house next door to our grandparents, and they had the business here in four or five garages. All the trucks were here all the time.

I remember going and sitting in the trucks and pretending I was driving them. It was great having the company run out of your backyard area. That’s what I remember about my grandpa, dad and uncle.

Best advice from John C. Caramanico (Screenshot: LM Staff)

Screenshot: LM Staff

3. How have you seen the business evolve over the years?

John: My dad and uncle took over a business that was largely residential. They transitioned it to commercial. The entry to the commercial world was installations. Shopping centers, a new park — they would do the grading. That lasted until the 2000s when a consultant, Frank Ross, who still works with us, told us to get into the recurring revenue of commercial maintenance. That was music to my dad’s ears. In 2003/2004, my dad’s focus was on growing the commercial maintenance division.

Bill: It’s definitely evolved from when our grandfather was cutting neighborhood lawns in west Philly.

4. What trends have you seen in the business over the last few years?

John: I think technology is here to stay in the landscape business. It feels like there’s been a huge infusion of it over the last few years. I think it will continue to grow. We demoed (autonomous mowers) a couple years ago, but we weren’t ready for it. We couldn’t make it work in the commercial world. This year, we’ll demo an autonomous commercial mower that will be put to use.

Bill: I agree. I love our Aspire software we’ve been using for a couple years now.

5. What do you remember about the day you two officially became the fourth generation to own C. Caramanico & Sons?

John: It was an exciting day. It was July 6, 2014. It was almost to the day that my dad and uncle took over the business in 1984. They ran the business from 1984 to 2014. We signed the papers in the same office, same town, that they did back in 1984.

Bill: We started working on it the previous year, the discussions and the paperwork. It was a long process crossing all the Ts, dotting all the Is. It was a good day to finally cross the finish line.

This article is tagged with , and posted in 0521, Featured, Five Questions, From the Magazine
Seth Jones

About the Author:

Seth Jones, a graduate of Kansas University’s William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, was voted best columnist in the industry in 2014 and 2018 by the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. Seth has more than 19 years of experience in the golf and turf industries and has traveled the world seeking great stories. He is editor-in-chief of Landscape Management, Golfdom and Athletic Turf magazines. Jones can be reached at sjones@northcoastmedia.net.

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