Lawncare pro: Andre J. “Frenchy” Rheault

September 1, 2010 -  By
andre

Headshot: Andre J. “Frenchy” Rheault

Andre J. “Frenchy” Rheault is the only landscaper we know who has had a frozen dessert named in his honor. During a 20-year career as a U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant air traffic controller, and after taking over a landscape business from a friend who got orders to go to Germany, Frenchy began a lifelong campaign supporting veterans affairs and charities — and providing community service projects in and around Denton, TX.

Frenchy, tell us why a local ice cream shop named one of its flavors in your honor: Frenchy’s orange sherbet.
We’ve been honored in many ways and with many awards for the things we’ve done in the community and for our veterans. It’s very gratifying, but it’s been fun, too. I’ve been selected as the Businessman of the Year by the Denton Chamber of Commerce, and the State of Texas Volunteer of the Year, and I’ve twice won the 4th of July’s Most Patriotic Character Award. Everybody knows who we are, and we appreciate that.

By the way, how did you get the nickname Frenchy?
When I joined the Air Force, people I met in the service who were not French had trouble understanding that Rheault was pronounced “row.” Frenchy is a lot easier.

You’ve been in the business a long time. How do you keep your enthusiasm for the industry?
Simple: I work with incredible people. Today (Aug. 12) it’s 105 degrees. The temperature has been above 100 degrees for 14 days in a row. We’ve been incredibly busy, and working 7 to 7 every day for the past several weeks. These guys are unbelievable.

I have five employees who have been with me better than 20 years, and the rest have been with me 10 years or more. We put in a lot of hours, and we do a lot of jobs. I stay with my people from the early morning until dark six days a week.

How did the recession affect your business?
It hasn’t affected my business that much. We started slow this year, but we had the best June we’ve had in my 36 years in this business — and we’re incredibly busy right now. I believe the longer you’ve been in business, the longer you’re going to stay in business if you keep doing things right. If you have a good product and you provide excellent service, it doesn’t matter what the economy is.

You obviously enjoy the limelight, and certainly aren’t shy.
Yes, I’m highly visible. In fact, you can see me at the (NFL Dallas) Cowboy games. This year I’m going in costumes and a beard every game. I’m going to do a pilgrim, a Santa, I’m going to dye my beard red, white and blue, and I’m going to go as the King of Orange in a Henry the Eighth outfit — although around here I’m known as Frenchy the First. I’ll be sitting right over the luxury suites. It will be easy to pick me out. I’ve never wanted to be just one of the crowd.

We’re surprised that as an owner you’re still out working in the field every day. You have an enviable work ethic.
I decided from Day One I was going to have the best company I could have. I knew there is always a demand for quality service. It doesn’t matter what profession you are in; fortunately, I’m high energy and low maintenance.

AT A GLANCE

COMPANY: Frenchy’s Lawn & Tree
FOUNDED: 1974, renamed and rebranded in 1995
TITLE: President and owner
HEADQUARTERS: Denton, TX (sole location)
EMPLOYEES: 20
SERVICES: Fertilization, mowing, mulching, aerating, plant/tree installs, tree services, color, seasonal cleanups, debris removal
PERSONAL HIGHLIGHTS: Retired U.S. Air Force, proud supporter of veterans affairs and a variety of local charities
SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow Frenchy’s Lawn & Tree on Facebook, and watch a recent televsion profile on Frenchy done by Dallas/Fort Worth ABC-TV affiliate WFAA at http://tiny.cc/wn6qh.

LM Staff

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