By James R. Johnson • [email protected]
During the first year of business for Jacobson Brothers, Jasper Jacobson was running operations out of his garage. He added a storage unit in his second year.
“When I added a John Deere tractor with a blade in front and a blower in the back, I needed somewhere to store it,” Jacobson thought.
For awhile, he stored the Deere outside. Opportunity came knocking.
Strand Ready Mix announced the plant would move from south of ARCO in Mayville to the east end of Highway 200. Jacobson began renting the shop in November 2019 with the intention of buying the two-and-a-half acre lot along Fifth Avenue South.
“I wasn’t going to hire employees; I thought I could do it all myself.”
He has since changed his mind, enlisting a pair of May-Port CG graduates, Jake Reynolds, who’s been with Jacobson Brothers for a year, and Marc Eastman.
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“Wednesday and Thursday are our main mowing days,” Jasper explains. “We start with appointments in Portland, then rural farmsteads north of Mayville and toward Thompson and Blanchard, then commercial properties. By Thursday, we’re doing residences around Mayville.”
Jacobson Brothers’ services also include aeration, landscapes, fertilization and weed control, tree and hedge trimming, cleaning gutters, and pressure washing. Reynolds and Eastman handle the mowing on this day, towing a new mower with a heavy-duty pickup licensed “JBROS 1.” That leaves Jasper to drive “JBROS 2” to extend some downspouts in Westwood. Then there’s a ditch to dig north of Mayville on property where Jacobson Brothers recently installed a fountain.
“I like the variety of things that come my way,” Jasper says.
Jacobson worked at Anchor Marketing in Grand Forks for 13 years.
“I was getting kind of sick of being behind a desk in an office,” he told the Tribune. “I wanted to get outside. Let’s just say mission accomplished.”
Come December, Jacobson Brothers begins its fourth year in business. Just in time for winter snow-blowing.
“I love snow,” Jasper says with a smile. He remembers clearing drifts 10-to-12 feet high from Scott Berry Field.
The drifts were so high around Luther Memorial Home that the therapy dog could climb them and wander off. They contacted Jasper to clear the snow, but forgot to tell him about the low spot on the property.
“I suddenly started sinking and the snow was four feet above my head,” he recounted.
The work schedule gets busiest in the spring with days lingering anywhere from 10-to-15 hours.
“Everybody starts thinking about spring projects in the winter and last fall was so wet even I didn’t get anything done,” Jasper says. “As soon as people see dandelions, my phone rings off the hook for spraying. Now, they’re ready for fall fertilizer.”
The transition of summer through fall is hot work, especially when safety requirements call for wearing long sleeves and pants in hot, humid conditions, but you’re protected from the sun,” Jasper remarks.
An added benefit of the new Jacobson Brothers location is that Jasper can watch his sons ride their bikes past on their way to school. Spencer turns 12 soon, Reed 10 and Oliver is going on four.
Jasper is also the website manager for the Mayville-Portland Economic Development Committee. He’d much rather be working outdoors. During the interview, he returns to the change of seasons from falling leaves to mounting snow.
“I love snow,” he repeats. “With the Deere, you can spend 14 hours in it and not feel fatigued.”