About Lakeshore Guys
My name’s Joe Palumbo. Because you’re considering hiring me and my company, Lakeshore Guys for a pretty big job, I’d like to tell you a bit about my background.
I’m not telling you “my story” because I think my life is thrilling (at least for anyone but me!). Rather, I believe my brew of experiences, skills, and personal traits means I am the perfect guy to build you the perfect shoreline.
Lifelong Outdoorsy Minnesotan
I grew up in Lino Lakes. Throughout my childhood, my parents – also Minnesota-born and raised – would take my brother and me to nearby lakes and beaches to fish and swim. White Bear Lake, Bald Eagle, and Centerville Lake were just a few of our favorites. That’s probably how I first came to appreciate all the great “family time” that can happen on even a little strip of shoreline. Whether it’s public or private, big or small, shorelines bring people together.
From about age 7 to 18, I was active in Boy Scouts. My troop went camping about 5 times a year, and I’m proud to say I reached the rank of “Life.” I can still tie a taut-line hitch, and during the summer and fall I get in plenty of camping.
I went to Forest Lake High School, and graduated in ‘92. I then went to a local community college for a few semesters. These days I’m constantly reading (usually on my porch with a cigar), and the lakeshore business takes a bit of “studying up” on Mother Nature and on environmental technology. But the classroom setting just wasn’t for me.
So I joined the US Navy. I loved breathing the salty air and serving our country, but knew I couldn’t do it forever. I had an entrepreneurial itch that needed scratching!
After I finished my stint in the Navy in 1995, I moved right back to Minnesota, and have lived here ever since. It’s always been home – and they don’t make lakes quite like this anywhere else.
It was also in ’95 that I started my landscaping company, Palumbo Services, Inc. We’ve got plenty of skilled hands now, but even since back when it was just me and my “pre-owned” pickup truck, the mission has been the same: “Do a job once, and do it right.”
As you might have guessed from my last name (Palumbo), I’m Italian.
That means – for one thing – that I love to eat. (By the way, I can build you a grill area on your lakeshore patio that even my grandmother would want to cook on.)
But it also means I have a certain admiration for Michelangelo, Dante, and the guys in Ancient Rome who built the aqueducts out of nothing but stone. Their work has lasted, and we’re still talking about it in the age of iPhones.
In the same way, I care more about how your shoreline will look years from now than I care about how it will look when you happily write us a check. I want your family to enjoy it for generations to come.
Of course, creating a beautiful lakeshore that lasts comes at a cost. Actually, there are two costs:
First, Lakeshore Guys aren’t the cheapest lakeshore guys. It’s easy enough to find standard-issue landscapers who can slap down some landscape fabric, pile on some dirty landscape rock, and call it a riprap shoreline. You get what you pay for. If some cheap fabric and dirty rock is all you want, you certainly don’t need us.
But…if you want your shoreline to look the way you’d like it to and to stand the test of time, then we are your guys. From the proper slope, to the correct type of filter fabric, to the right type and amount of rock, a shoreline collapses or stands on the details. It’s all part of the 15-point list of qualities that go into our signature Armored Shorelines.
Maybe you have a vision for your lakeshore, or maybe you want help forming that vision. Either way, you need someone who knows and cares about all the details.
Which brings us to the 2nd cost of perfection: my almost-comical perfectionist streak.
Someone in a lab coat might say I have OCD (my friends and the guys on my team call it “Joe CD”). Sometimes it drives my wife crazy – partly because I work 16 hours a day and it still feels like maybe 5 hours to me. When I’m thinking about a lakeshore project, sometimes I need a few cigars and 90 minutes of chirping crickets to wind down for the night.
I may be a challenge to live with, but my perfectionism is good news when it comes to crafting the lakeshore of your dreams.
I’m the guy who’s always got paper and a pen within reach, because I’ll write down everything you think of or I think of. (And yes, it bothers me all day if there’s a single crease on that paper.)
I don’t buy the best materials my suppliers have in stock: I buy the best materials that can be special-ordered. Few people buy top-of-the-line, so the chances are slim that I can hop in my truck and find the best on local shelves.
I don’t accept dirt on the riprap stones I order for you: They must be washed by the supplier. (By the way, that can add years onto the lifespan of your shoreline, because it prevents weeds from growing on the fabric/rocks and consuming your shoreline.).
I’ve even invented a gadget for that: a one-of-a-kind, custom-built rock bucket that filters out any dirt that might be on your riprap stones. We designed and built it, because we’re the only company that cares about clean stones that much.
If your plants need to be moved half an inch in one direction, you won’t need to feel like you’re bothering me with a pesky detail, because I’ll probably already be moving the plants myself before you’re able to track me down. The slightest imperfection drives me up a wall!
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably as much of a stickler for detail as I am. And even if you’re not, you probably appreciate a job well done as much as I do.
If you’d like me and the other Lakeshore Guys to build you a bulletproof riprap shoreline, or help design your dreamy shoreline, give us a call at 612-568-3041.
We’ll do it once, and do it right