Westfield teen launches lawn care business

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By Haley Miller

Jonah Papacek started his own lawn care business after several years of cutting his family’s grass and observing professional lawn care.

The 13-year-old Westfield resident launched Jonah’s Lawn Service in 2021 and brought in about $2,000 in profits. At the end of this season, he expects his profits to be around $4,000 or $5,000.

“I just like being able to go outside and see that I make something look good,” Jonah said. “I feel like I have a lot of freedom when I do it.”

Jonah is the sole proprietor of Jonah’s Lawn Service, a Westfield neighborhood business that offers mowing, trimming, edging and, most recently, mulching.

Jonah’s parents, Michelle and Jason Papacek, said their son applies his knack for art and design to his lawn business.

Jonah designed multiple flyers advertising his services, and he created the logo that he now wears on a T-shirt, which features a caricature-style drawing of himself on a tractor and rainbow lettering spelling out “Jonah’s Lawn Service.”

“I had my first shirt before I had any customers,” Jonah said.

Jonah handles 10 or 11 yards and works up to 30 hours a week. When he enters eighth grade in the fall, he said he might have to work more on the weekends to keep up with his customers.

Michelle Papacek said she is proud of her son’s ability to excel in school and operate his business at the same time.

“I’m just floored by the determination, the motivation,” she said. “I’m not sure how he handles juggling everything.”

Jason Papacek said his son’s business has been beneficial not only to Jonah but also to the family. The Papaceks moved to a different house at the beginning of the pandemic, and Jonah’s Lawn Service helped introduce and acquaint them to their new neighbors.

“As the restrictions started to lift, we found ourselves introducing (ourselves), instead of who we were, more as ‘We’re Jonah’s parents,’” he said. “Everybody knows Jonah from his lawn care business.”

Jonah continues to improve his lawn services and techniques by watching YouTube channels that specialize in lawn care and upgrading his equipment. His next goal is to purchase a commercial-grade mower.

“The tractor I have now, it does a good job,” Jonah said. “It’s not a large commercial piece of equipment that can stripe a lawn like a golf course. In the future, I’d like to get some of those so I can really make people’s yards look good.”

Jonah said he genuinely enjoys lawn care and wants to grow his business through high school and beyond.

“I plan on doing it as long as I can do it,” Jonah said. “Pretty much until I retire.”


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