Charlie Hall’s Childhood Lawn Business Becomes Multifaceted Long Island Enterprise
Charlie Hall, President and owner of Hall Enterprises, Inc., got his start mowing lawns as a kid growing up on Long Island.
His first customer was a neighbor who hired him to do his yard for $10 and then helped Charlie fix up a lawnmower so he could mow other neighbors’ yards, too. Little did Charlie know then that this childhood job would one day become a lucrative landscape business.
In 1989, Charlie decided to form Hall Enterprises, a full-service landscape company based in East Patchogue, New York. Hall Enterprises has come a long way since the days Charlie mowed neighbors’ lawns to make a few extra dollars. Today, the business provides landscape services to all five boroughs of New York City and all areas of Long Island—“from Manhattan to Montauk,” as the company website says.
The sheer geographic spread is a testament to the company’s flexibility and adaptability. Hall Enterprises works in a variety of locales, from the concrete jungle of Manhattan to the vast rural wine country of Long Island. That means Charlie and his team also serve a diverse clientele with a wide range of projects, from corporations to high-end residences and from million-dollar municipal contracts to backyard pools—and everything in between.
Charlie does much more than mow lawns now. His team performs lawn renovations, landscape installation and maintenance, water features, hardscape, lighting, irrigation, drainage, and snow removal and plowing. It’s a business dedicated to getting the job done.
When It Snows
Perhaps the best illustration of the company’s ability to get the job done is its snow removal services.
On March 7, 2018, as a nor’easter blanketed the New York City area in snow, Charlie and his employees were out in the storm, working diligently through the night and early morning—from the time it started snowing until 10:30 a.m. the next day—to perform snow removal for local industrial properties and medical buildings.
“Snow is a big business,” Charlie explains. “We go from 15 to 20 employees during the summer to 45 on the night it snows.”
Hall Enterprises specializes in properties that must be open, no matter the weather, such as hospitals and medical buildings. That means Charlie and his team do whatever it takes to ensure the properties are safely accessible, even amid a snowstorm. They take care of everything from snow preparation to snowplow operations, and they do it 24 hours a day every time it snows. The Hall Enterprises team has worked during every Long Island snowstorm for the past two decades to ensure that necessary businesses and services can still operate.
The Other Nine Months
Of course, winter accounts for only three months of the year, and Hall Enterprises stays plenty busy year-round.
Hall Enterprises does all landscaping services in-house. That means the company performs its own landscaping, its own irrigation, installs its own sprinklers and builds its own retaining walls. This benefits the general contractor, who needs to hire only one company to perform all the work. As a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Hall Enterprises also helps general contractors meet certain contract criteria.
“It makes it easier for the project manager and the general contractor, because they don’t have to worry about who’s going to get back to install the sprinkler head—it’s me,” Charlie explains. “We have a unique mix of employees with talent and training who specialize in all the things we do. We have our mason expert, irrigation expert, etc. These people pick their niche; they’re good at it, and everyone works together as a team and gets the job done.”
Last year, Hall Enterprises put its range of expertise to work on the North Fork of Long Island at Hallock State Park Preserve. The 225-acre park includes numerous hiking trails, nature walks and beachfront coastlines, and Hall Enterprises was chosen to make additional enhancements to the property.
From fall 2016 through spring 2017, the Hall Enterprises team completed the installation of a natural blue stone patio, landscaped the nature trails and surrounding areas with materials indigenous to Long Island, planted meadow grass, sowed wildflower hydroseed, installed customized landscape design around the visitor center and provided temporary irrigation.
“It’s a nice design and a nice way to complement the park that’s already beautiful,” Charlie says.
A Family Enterprise
Charlie started Hall Enterprises after years of mowing lawns alone as a kid, but he’s no longer alone in operating the business. In addition to his team of full-time employees, he gets a little help from his sister, Patricia, who pitches in wherever she’s needed.
With many long-tenured employees, Hall Enterprises feels more like a family than a business. Many employees have brought on their own friends or relatives to work for the company, as well. As the business has grown, Charlie works to make sure the company maintains that close, family-like atmosphere. After a long night of clearing snow, Charlie and the rest of team will go to breakfast or out somewhere to have fun and just enjoy each other’s company.
As Charlie puts it, “You’re a person here, not just an employee with a number.”
Charlie’s strong sense of family and community is also evident in the way he gives back to the Long Island community, inspired by his own family’s holiday traditions. Growing up, Charlie remembers his dad being big into Christmas—from finding just the right Christmas tree, to the decorations, to playing Santa Claus and everything in between. Today, Charlie works to pass that holiday spirit on to kids in need.
During the holiday season, Charlie works with the local police precinct on a special holiday program and opens the Hall Enterprises nursery to low-income families to pick out their own live Christmas trees. Charlie helps the families cut down the trees, and the families also receive lights and a tree stand. It’s a small but meaningful way he can help make the holidays brighter.
Giving back to the community is also Charlie’s way of investing in local talent. “Anybody in the construction industry knows it’s tough recruiting good people,” he says. “It’s important that there are eligible recruits in the community—but you need to put something back in.”
Charlie’s hope is that one day these young people might be the next generation of Hall Enterprises employees and will help the business continue to do what it does best: get the job done.
“We’re a full-service landscape business with owner involvement and a good, solid staff,” Charlie says. “The whole spirit of Hall Enterprises is that we have a mission to accomplish. In construction, we’re always the last ones to come in to finish up the project. So when it’s the bottom of the ninth, we do what we need to do to make sure the project’s completed by the deadline—it’s what we specialize in.”