While some 18-year-olds across Loveland are still wondering what to do in the summer, a recent Loveland High School graduate and 18-year-old entrepreneur has become passionate about creating outdoor landscapes in which homeowners can relax and benefit.
Sam Huhta is the owner of NOCO Landscape, a landscaping company that works in the Loveland, Fort Collins and Greeley area to provide “streamlined service so you can have your landscaping the way you want it – hassle-free”, depending on the company. website.
Although he found pleasure in providing landscaping work at a young age, he has worked in recent years to grow his business to provide landscaping work in northern Colorado.
He said he had grown his business to include eight employees plus himself, bringing in around $50,000 a month, something he didn’t expect after leaving a fast food job.
“I had no intention of growing or hiring anyone,” he said.
Huhta said that while he graduated from Loveland High this spring, he also spent two years taking classes at Front Range Community College. He said when he completes his freshman year at the University of Wyoming in the fall, when he will technically be a freshman, he will have the credits of a junior.
He said that while he isn’t sure where his business will go from here, he has dedicated a lot of time to the local landscaping group he started.
How did you get interested in landscaping?
Like all the other kids in the neighborhood, I started out mowing lawns with my good friend Jude. When we started building a client list, there was an apparent need for yard work among Loveland residents. Within the first five months, we started getting contracts with real estate agents to get the houses ready for the market. As gardening began to evolve into landscaping, I knew my passion lay in creating outdoor spaces tailored to the client’s needs.
What made you want to start your own landscaping business?
I am very lucky to have found my passion for entrepreneurship at a very young age. Between the ages of 11 and 13, I bought and scored a line of bike grips. If you’re a long-time resident, you may have seen them at local bike shops. From there, I tried everything from e-commerce to 3D printing products. Eventually I found a line of work that I really like.
For you, what is the most difficult process when a client asks you for landscaping work?
The majority of our contracts are design-build work in new construction. Contracts like this can be difficult in many ways, but especially when transitioning between the design and construction phases. Communicating metrics and making sure the crew has a clear understanding of what to do was a big part of the initial growing pains. I’m very lucky to have a phenomenal team, including our project manager, Connor Patrick, who was instrumental in overcoming this challenge.
Why do you enjoy creating landscaping pieces?
From design to construction, each job is usually in progress for three months. Showing up in a dirt field and working alongside the client to create an outdoor space from rendering to reality is truly a feeling you can’t explain. A mixture of excitement, pride and pure joy accompanies the end of every contract that I am lucky enough to trust.
What are your tips for Loveland residents who want to have the best yard this summer?
Be unique! Don’t do what everyone else does, use your garden as an expression of yourself. With the right design, infused with personality, you can create more than a patch of grass. You can create a place where you look forward to spending time.
Time in the region: 18 years old.
Title at NOCO Landscape: Owner.