AP NEWS

A success story

January 6, 2019

One can understand why Matt Wilke was excited and yet a bit apprehensive back in 2012.

The business owner was doing quite well with the landscaping business he had started in the Chicago suburbs four years earlier. The business could very well have done nothing but grown if it had stayed there.

But Northeast Nebraska was calling.

Wilke was a native of Wayne and a graduate of Northeast Community College. So, he decided to move to Nebraska and begin again.

He was confident in his ability to succeed here, too, but yet he has been candid enough to acknowledge there was some hesitancy. Wilke said he did question whether the Norfolk market area could support the type of business he wanted to build.

Given that Wilke and his wife, Robin, recently announced their plans to construct a new, expanded headquarters on the east edge of Norfolk, it’s pretty clear that the decision was a good one.

That’s a credit to them, and their employees, as well as the quality of work and service done by ASPM Landscapes.

The company operates multiple divisions — commercial and residential landscaping, grading and seeding for commercial and residential properties, erosion control and commercial snow removal.

The ASPM Landscapes staff includes two full-time designers with degrees in landscape design and horticulture. Its 13-person team has been cross-trained to work in all of ASPM’s divisions.

The business handles a wide variety of landscaping projects. The new location will not only include the company headquarters but also will have up-to-date interactive displays like water features, fire pits, outdoor kitchens, pergolas, sound systems, as well as an array of stone, tile and aggregate products.

And a portion of the credit also should go to ASPM’s Norfolk and area customers. They were willing to take a chance on something of a newcomer to Northeast Nebraska and give the business a chance to show what it could do.

There’s a bigger lesson here, too.

Although what the company does may initially sound like something better suited for an urban area, the reality is that Northeast and North Central Nebraska want the same of products and services that their metropolitan neighbors do.

The lesson is to not underestimate what this corner of the state can and will support. The growth of ASPM is certainly a testament to that.

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