COMPANY: Diamond Cutters
WHAT THEY DO: Lawn care and landscaping
REVENUE: $285,000 in ?projected gross revenue
NEXT GOAL: To increase gross revenue ?and improve services
Baseball remains a field of dreams for former LSU pitching coach Dan Canevari and former Tigers pitcher Chad Ogea. But now, their roles are to maintain the fields themselves.
In March, Canevari and Ogea launched Diamond Cutters, a lawn care and landscape architecture business that includes irrigation, aeration, drainage and—yes—a developing niche market in baseball fields.
“When you think of a baseball diamond, you think of a well-groomed, neat, meticulous place, and that’s the concept that we’re trying to get across,” Canevari says.
Diamond Cutters has its roots in the dirt at the old Alex Box Stadium, where LSU coaches and players tended the field as part of their responsibilities to the program and to compensate for shortages in maintenance staff.
“Baseball players in general, throughout their whole careers, take care of the field,” Canevari says. “As coaches, we felt it made our players feel more of an owner than a renter of the program. The work you put into it made you own it. “
Canevari and Ogea reconnected when both had reached a crossroads, leaving careers in baseball behind in order to put their efforts toward their families.
Canevari wanted to try his hand at running a business, and Ogea was looking for a way to apply his degree in landscape architecture. Canevari is management- and detail-oriented, and Ogea is creative and likes to get his hands dirty—contrasts that have led to the perfect matchup.
The biggest carryover from the baseball field to Diamond Cutters has been the routine and discipline necessary to succeed in the sport. In landscaping, that translates into pride of ownership, camaraderie and the day-to-day dedication to getting the job done with excellence—even if it literally means manicuring a lawn.
“We were raised by Skip Bertman and the LSU baseball program,” Canevari says. “When you play there, it’s a group of men where it’s ingrained that your best is never good enough. You can always get better, and you’re constantly working to improve.”
In baseball, players and even coaches have a limited shelf life that drives them to do “something else” well before retirement age. Canevari and Ogea have made it clear they are in the lawn-care business for the long haul.
“This isn’t something we’re doing for a couple of years to make some money and move on, Canevari says. “This is it.”