The Aloha Story
Most people wonder "why is Aloha Landscaping located in Minnesota?" The answer is simple, but it makes all the difference.
It all started in 1951 when my mother left Hawaii to attend school at Macalester College in Minnesota. She soon fell in love with my dad and Minnesota. Although I grew up in Minnesota, we spent a lot of time in Honolulu at my grandparents home. The picture above showing the lights of honolulu is what we would see from the living room at night. Punch Bowl National Cemetary in the foreground and Diamond Head in the distance. As early as I can remember we were "landscaping" something in their yard or in the orchid houses. The Japanese are very fond of beautiful landscaping - so it made sense that we were always sweating and in the red volcanic dirt.
Fast forward to 1998 and the official launch of Aloha Landscaping. After receiving a Master of Science degree in Industrial Psychology from San Jose State University and spending 15 years working at Lockheed Martin, I took some advice from my dad and started Aloha Landscaping. We started out looking for unique projects or projects so difficult that there was little or no competition. We learned a lot and make some great connections and the business took off.
2005 was a turning point for Aloha Landscaping. We went way "out of the box" and spent two weeks in Switzerland studying green roofs. When we returned we built the first major green roof in Minnesota, created a unique product that was specified on the Vancouver Convention Center green roof (second largest in the world), developed a truly organic green roof soil with a carbon footprint 1,300% lower than the conventional soil everyone uses, and built countless green roofs in Minnesota. We became a green roof company in addition to becoming one of the premier landscape construction companies in Minnesota. 2005 was also the year we started a great relationship with Mall of America. In addition to renovating the entire campus, we redesigned and installed the new landscape for Nickelodeon Universe. We also designed and managed a three-month flower show and we even became of revenue share partner and built a butterfly aviary attraction inside Nickelodeon Universe. Some amazing memories.
In 2009, I won the national "Landscaper of the Year" award and also built the first green roof on the island of Guam. That summer, my son Jake finished his MBA and started to develop more business niches including a sculpture fountain business with his brother Luke. For two years they worked on a wonderful sculpture fountain project in Aspen, Colorado. In 2012, we started work on another green roof and typhoon-proof roof paver plaza in Guam at the Guam Medical City Hospital. In 2014, My son Jesse joined the business with a focus on Sustainable Management and urban farming.
Looking back, I am proud that we always finished every project well and we had the courage to "take the road less traveled." Looking ahead, I need another lifetime, because we are just getting started. We are "Building Beyond the Box" and having a blast doing it.