Hampton’s Grounds Care


Working from the back of a pickup truck in the summer
of 2009, Brian Stanis began mowing lawns on Long
Island’s east end following completion of his junior year
in high school.
When he went off to college the following year, Stanis
tried to continue the enterprise from his dorm room, but
it didn’t work out the way he had hoped.
Faced with two options—continue with school or go to
work full time—Stanis chose the latter and Hampton’s
Grounds Care (HGC) was formally established in 2012.
“We purchased a machine that needed an engine,” he
recalls. “It was my first piece of equipment, a Cat® 303
Mini Excavator. “I worked at night installing a reman
engine purchased from the Cat dealer in Holtsville, H.O.
Penn. We loved that machine, it performed great, and
things just grew from there.”
Over the last 10 years, word-of-mouth referrals have
helped build the business to the point where Hampton’s
Grounds Care has 16 employees who service clients
across more than 25 miles from Southampton to
Montauk on Long Island’s east end.
“We’ve never spent a cent on advertising,” Stanis says.
“I was raised to work hard and do right by people. I’m
out in the field every day with the crew. When people
see me in the field as an owner-operator, they feel more
comfortable. And in the end, they seem to like the
finished product much better.
“It’s really just applying consistent hard work and
providing the best product that you can and keeping
customers happy—that leads to more clientele and word
spreads fast out here,” he adds. “I’ve always believed if
you do something good, word spreads fast.”
HGC is based on the premise that a customer can make
one phone call to receive multiple home care services at a
level of workmanship above that of big-name landscaping
“We strive to deliver the highest quality services and
develop lasting relationships with our clients by treating
their properties as if they were our own,” Stanis says.
“By overseeing each and every project from start to
finish, we want customers to feel that working with
Hampton’s Grounds Care is like working with a part of
their own family.”

Year-round service
Stanis’ business serves residents of
The Hamptons, a string of seaside
communities known as a summer
destination for affluent residents of New
York City. Located on eastern Long
Island’s South Fork, the area is marked
by long stretches of beach, interior
farmland, and towns and villages with
18th-century shingle buildings and
estates hidden behind tall boxwood
hedges. The towns were settled by the
British, and named after the city of
Working in this setting, HGC provides
grounds care, landscape design-build
and property maintenance, and also
handles snow removal during the
winter months. HGC operates its own
nursery—a competitive advantage—
and provides all grounds care services
to match each passing season. This
includes preparing and opening a
property for the season during the early
spring months, maintaining its beauty
throughout the summer, and closing it
down and keeping it clean throughout
the fall and winter months. These
services include:
• Landscape design
• Seed and sod lawn installations
• Plantings
• Irrigation system turn on/blow out (Continued on page 14)
• Snow plowing and de-icing
• Garden design
• Weekly lawn maintenance and
• Fertilization programs
• Lawn aeration, thatching, and
over seeding
• Complete weeding, edging, and
• Spring and Fall cleanups
• Pruning and hedging
When it comes to the design and
execution of a landscape project, it
not only takes organization and skill,
but it also must be done in a manner
that complements the surrounding
environment, Stanis says. By following
these guidelines, HGC is able to create
elegant landscapes that its customers
can enjoy for years to come. The
landscape process starts with a meeting
to discuss ideas and potentials for its
clients’ properties. From there, HGC
designs a landscape that caters to each
client’s unique needs and preferences.
Once winter passes, landscapers have a
very short amount of time to get things
done, Stanis says.
“We go from zero to 100 in about two
weeks,” he says. “A lot of clients give us
pretty strict timelines. Our jobs need to
be completed by Memorial Day or the
Fourth of July. The season is essentially
a three-month period that people
are actually here, and then this place
empties out. But for the most part, we
need to have everything completed by
the 4th of July and be out and fall back
behind the curtain.”
Cat machines do the work
Once the ground thaws in mid-March,
Stanis and his crew have 10-12 weeks
to complete six months of work. “We
cannot afford any downtime, and that’s
where the outstanding reliability of our
Cat machines come in,” he says.
Stanis relies on a fleet of Cat Mini
Excavators and Compact Wheel
Loaders. The fleet consists of 908 and
914 Compact Wheel Loaders, as well as
a 926M Small Wheeler Loader. It has
two mini excavators (301.5 and 303), as
well as a 312 Small Excavator.

“A lot of what we do involves finish
work and operating in tight backyards,”
Stanis says. “So we have the same types
of machines, but at different sizes.
Our 301 mini that we picked up this
year has the retractable undercarriage.
I always thought it was a rather silly
machine until we bought it. What it
has given us the ability to do this year
has been insane. We can access places
I never thought were possible with one
of our machines.”
For bigger jobs, HGC uses the 303 and
312 excavators. All three machines
exert lower ground pressure, which is a
valuable feature, Stanis says.
“The Hamptons has a very high
standard to meet of not leaving behind
any damage caused by our machines,”
he says. “It needs to look like we were
never there. So having the low ground
pressure is crucial for our application.”
The 914 and the 926M Wheel Loaders
are used on new construction projects,
primarily to move large amounts of
topsoil, Stanis says. HGC operates a
nursery where it grows trees that are
transported to clients with a burlap
sack tied around the roots. The 926M
primary purpose is moving large trees—
anything ranging from a 36-inch root
ball to a 15-foot root ball.
The Cat Wheel Loaders are also used for
snow removal.
“The machines do everything we need,”
Stanis says. “My guys appreciate the ride
comfort, which is crucial when we’re roading from one job to another. Most
of the parking lots that we clear aren’t
in a central area, so when they’re riding
down the road, the ride control and
the suspension seat—having all those
comforts and even the heated seats
for that matter—are a real plus. If you
have happy operators, they will be more
productive. Any features that keep the
operators happy is what’s going to give
us a good product in the end. And my
operators are beyond happy with all of
our Cat machines.”
Stanis also values the timely parts
availability from his Cat dealer, as well as the support he receives from his H.O.
Penn sales rep, Brian Carroll.
“After a machine delivery, Brian came
here and gave us a tutorial on how to
better use our wheel loader. He showed
us how to switch between different drive
train modes for operating in ice and
snow, and it definitely makes a difference.
“Brian has been super helpful. I can just
send him a text, and he gets right back
to me on any question we have. We’re
not just a number, and it’s really nice to
have that type of working relationship
you can count on.”