By SCOTT WEISSER
THE GOSHEN NEWS
GOSHEN — Brian Garber got his start sweeping the floor and painting at the shop. These days, he’s management.
Garber is in the lawnmower business, and he was recently on the move.
Cecil and Wilma West, Garber’s grandparents, started Ideal Lawnmower Shop in 1949. For close to 65 years, the Ideal home was at 921 E. Lincoln Ave., the intersection of Lincoln and Steury.
Last week, Ideal moved a block and a half west to 528 E. Lincoln Avenue near Ninth Street.
“We had just outgrown the old space,” Ideal Lawnmower owner Garber said at the new space Thursday afternoon. “It was either somehow tear everything down there and start all over and build something, or find something else.”
The new Ideal location was a semi truck parts retail shop in the late 1990s, Garber said.
“It’s just been a storage building the last five to 10 years,” he added.
Garber said the building is much bigger than the former shop location, and offers great visibility. It also has a semi truck dock Garber can use for unloading mowers.
Ideal Lawnmower Shop is in a different place, but it’s rooted in a family tradition.
Garber started working with his grandparents around 26 years ago, when he was 14. He took over the business in 1999.
“I’ve always thought it was fun, so I’ve just kept doing it,” he said. “It’s neat to work with family and learn from the bottom up.”
Garber recalled that his grandparents started out sharpening reel mowers.
“Of course the power mowers came out in the ‘50s, and then the riders started to come out in the ‘60s,” he said. The equipment became motorized and bigger, and the Wests adapted the business.
Garber works on all makes and models of mowers — including reel mowers, just like his grandparents. The products he sells and services include Toro and Lawnboy mowers. He also works on outdoor equipment including chainsaws, trimmers and leaf blowers.
Garber indicated the original Ideal Lawnmower building will be refurbished. It will continue to house pieces of equipment associated with the history of both the Ideal business and the lawnmower industry.