Young entrepreneur purchases business

Deb Moldaschel
Patrick Hoffmann is joined on the job by his crew of school friends -- back, from left: CJ Surprenant, Caleb Schumacher, and Kaden Ryer.

Patrick Hoffmann was looking for a summer job and ended up buying one. Hoffmann, who will be a senior at St. Mary’s High School in the fall, is the owner of Hoffmann Landscape Curbing LLC.

“The opportunity came up and I took it,” said Hoffmann, as he described his purchase of Braulick Custom Curbing this spring.

“I heard from a guy that worked with them, that Briar Braulick and Tom Braulick wanted to sell the business,” said Hoffmann. “I checked it out and decided to do it.”

The purchase consisted of a trailer and the necessary equipment to form the poured concrete curbing — a cement mixer, the curbing machine, the bed edger, and a variety of tools — plus lessons on how to do the job properly.

Three of Hoffmann’s schoolmates have become his crew: fellow senior Caleb Schumacher, and sophomores Kaden Ryer and CJ Surprenant. Speaking at a job site last week, the guys all agreed it is a four-person process to build the landscape curbing and each has found his proper niche on the job.

“Caleb mixes the cement,” said Hoffmann. “We figured out he is the best at getting the mixture just right.”

Watching the guys work, it appeared that plenty of physical labor goes into the process; labor that employs shovels and trowels, a good eye and time on their knees bent over the curbing.

As Schumacher delivers a wheelbarrow full of just-mixed cement, Ryer takes up a shovel to fill the hopper of the curbing machine, which Surprenant operates. Hoffmann follows, applying the design and making the cuts.

After only a few weeks of work, Hoffmann’s crew operates like a well-oiled machine. They also operate in a very professional manner, concentrating on doing the job right and keeping the customer happy.

As long as it isn’t raining, the crew of Hoffmann Landscape Curbing will be on the job this summer.

Asked if work will continue into the fall, Hoffmann said, “It depends if we have school.” Asked, or if you have football? All four answered, “Yes, that too.”

There is an end to the season though. Hoffmann said, “But when harvest starts, I’m done.”

Patrick is the son of Andy and Heather Hoffmann (his accountant.)