The Bouwmeister’s are a family of land scape gardeners dating back three generations to Holland. Their grandfather Gerrard was a gardener there. Bouwmeister Inc. – Landscaping & General Contracting is owned and operated by cousins Gary and John Bouwmeister.
In 1957, Gary’s father, Bernard, immigrated to Canada. Bernard opened a company named New Holland Landscaping in 1960 in the Unionville area. Gary was raised with the business and started his own in 1981. The next year, Gary moved Bouwmeister Inc. to Stouffville. Increased demand of the company’s services has permitted a couple satellite offices to be developed that are located in Queensville and Halliburton.
John began working for Gary as a summer student when he was 14 years old. He became a foreman a few years later. John graduated from a Humber College horticultural program, and then graduated with a Landscape Architecture degree from Ryerson.
He went out into the professional world on his own, but later decided to get out of the industry and rather completed the Paramedics program at Durham College. “I will never forget the day when I graduated, and Gary called me and said, ‘Congratulations on completing the Paramedics program, now I need you as a partner,’” recounted John.
In 2005, John decided to drop his Paramedics career to join forces with Gary. Gary and John have a solid relationship and deal with situations very diplomatically, work with a calm demeanor and try to instill a positive environment.
Bouwmeister Inc. has numerous Landscape Ontario awards from the 1980’s to present. Currently, they have won Best landscape company in Stouffville 2014-2020.
John noted, “I have learned so much from Gary. From prompt customer service to creative yard design. But the number one thing I learned is to give back to the community that gives to you.” Gary started the Bouwmeister Bash as a Multiple Sclerosis fundraiser in the 80’s and 90’s. There were also arm-wrestling fundraisers and endless support for local sports teams.
John decided to carry on that tradition of giving back and started the Meatfest fundraiser at Memorial Park, which eventually became The Evergreen Hospice’s ‘Taste of Stouffville’. “My biggest highlight was being Maestro Fresh Wes’ back up dancer and he didn’t even know I was behind him. What an amazing event, generating thousands for a great service called the Evergreen Hospice,” said John.
Continuing the tradition of giving back, Gary and John are currently working on teaching the next generation fundamental entrepreneurial skills by introducing International Lemonade Day to Stouffville in 2022. The principals of running a lemonade stand are life lessons when dealing with product, people, placement and price.
Currently, Gary and John are still going strong and Gary has been busy with the talented Northern division crews. Gary is based out of Halliburton handling landscape projects and medium to large scale renovation jobs. John is running the GTA with his incredibly seasoned crews. “With 40 years of clients, the phone is never quiet,” says John.
About 5 years ago, the Bouwmeisters branched off to general contracting due to high demands for the service. They offer full-service home renovations and new builds. John’s number one passion remains building Pavilions – “It brings the indoors out and acts as an office, entertainment area and day spa,” says John.
He also noted that the pandemic has increase the workload. “Instead of ‘Staycation’ – clients are now looking for ‘office-a-cations’. They want great views and much needed mental breaks in their back yard,” tells John.
The Bouwmeisters they have been very lucky with the same talented crew leaders and personnel returning. They manage 35-40 personnel at the peak of summer.
Bouwmeister Inc. is a multi-generation al business that has been thriving on the Greenbelt for decades. They have expand ed in market area and service delivery. We expect more Bouwmeisters to fall in line with the family business that began all those years ago in Holland.
for more – bouwmeister.com