Only in Louisville: KEN-MULCH


KEN-MULCH - A Family Tradition!

By Erica Rucker

In 1975, husband and wife team Mary Lou and David Smallwood opened the first retail landscape business in the region. It began as a three-way partnership with two other investors but soon after it came under the full ownership of the Smallwoods and grew into the 45 years-and-running, family-owned business that it is today.

Ken-Mulch is one of the premier local retailers serving both regular folks, who just want a new look to their home landscaping, and commercial landscapers looking to do major project work. The business offers any and all products related to landscaping including rock, concrete, tools, equipment, and plants to ensure that all of their customers landscaping needs are covered.

Family is central to the Ken-Mulch business. Currently, all but two employees are members of the Smallwood extended family and the two that aren’t have been around long enough to be considered family.

These days, Ken-Mulch is run by the Smallwood’s sons Ross and Mike who grew up involved in the business

“When I was starting off, I was 13 going to DeSales. I didn’t go home to ride my bicycle, I went straight to work, operated the fork lift and waited on customers,” said Ross.

Mike went to school to study landscape architecture, then lived briefly in Florida. When he was needed at home, he answered the call and hasn’t left since. His sons Kent, Kyle Mitchell and son-in-law John, also work in the business.

In addition to their products, Ken-Mulch does landscaping consultations. Any customer with images of their landscaping project can bring them in and one of the experts will assist the client in picking out the right materials to complete the job in a professional and reasonable way.

“It’s a very enjoyable thing to have someone tell you they want to redo their landscape and to give them all the products, then have them come back with pictures to show you or ask you to stop by and see,” said Kent of the Ken-Mulch experience.

More information can be found on the Ken-Mulch website which also features a useful, monthly blog that offers landscapers and homeowners informative suggestions and tips. These range from when to plant seeds to how and when to prune trees.

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