The Thornberry brothers, Nick and Ryan, became business partners in the spring of 2014.
Former standout golfers at Ceres High School, the Thornberrys have dedicated the past six years of their lives to running California Landscape Supply.
“I don’t think we could do this if we didn’t have a good relationship,” said Nick 41. “We bounce ideas off each other all the time. It’s fun.”
“It’s cool being able to work with family,” said Ryan, 35. “I get to see my brother every day. We’ve always been close. We absolutely have each other’s back no matter what.”
California Landscape Supply is located at 4107 Morgan Road in Ceres.
Nick and Ryan share a 10-acre site with K&D Enterprises, which is co-owned by their father Ken.
Ken’s business recycles concrete, asphalt, rock and dirt into Class 2 base rock for road surfaces.
“Without his business, it would have been much harder to get started,” Ryan said. “He had connections.”
“He grew up in the industry,” Nick added. “He pretty much got us going.”
California Landscape Supply sells soil, bark, rock and pavers, baseball diamond products, and ready-mix concrete by the yard.
The business also has a plant and tree nursery.
Delivery services have been expanded as well.
Cost for materials varies.
“We set goals in the beginning and blew them out of the water,” Nick said. “We have a good team around us, everyone from our families and co-workers. We definitely couldn’t do it alone.”
“We’ve surprised ourselves,” Ryan said.
Nick and Ryan work between 60-70 hours some weeks.
“I like all the things that come with running a business,” Ryan said. “Not all parts are fun. You never check out. I haven’t been able to take many days off in six years.”
“Your day ends when the job is done, not when it’s time to punch out,” Nick said.
California Landscape Supply has avoided a major setback during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“We thought we were going to be shut down,” Ryan said. “We were deemed an essential business. We’ve been able to keep our doors open with the practice of social distancing. We’ve made some changes. We have a walk-up window for sales. All of our customers have been patient and adapted with us.”
Nick and Ryan graduated from Ceres High in 1996 and 2002, respectively.
Ryan starred on the school’s golf team for four years, while Nick was a standout for three seasons.
Ryan followed in his brother’s footsteps by attending Stanislaus State.
His golf career with the Warriors spanned four seasons.
Nick played one year.
Nick and Ryan both earned degrees from Stanislaus State.
Nick, a criminal justice major, earned a master’s degree in business.
Ryan majored in psychology.
Ryan played golf professionally until injuries forced him to retire in 2014.
He competed on the Web.com Tour and advanced to the final stage of PGA Qualifying School in 2013.
“At no point in my life did I see myself working with my brother,” Ryan said. “He was on a total different trajectory than me. I thought golf was going to be my life. I didn’t have a backup plan. I started working for my dad. I was doing clerical work. That didn’t fulfill me. I wanted to do something where I didn’t have to answer to anybody. I wanted to control my own schedule like I did in golf and reap the rewards of the work I put in.”
“It was an easy transition to business,” Ryan added. “Golf instills character qualities in you. It teaches you how to be resourceful, gritty and stretch a dollar.”
Nick worked for 18 years for UPS prior to changing career paths.
“One of the most gratifying things is I’m able to set my own schedule,” Nick said. “Now I can spend more time with my wife and kids. That doesn’t mean there aren’t long days. One of the scariest parts is there are a lot of people relying on the business succeeding. Failure isn’t an option.”
California Landscape Supply is open 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
For more information, call 538-8493 or visit californialandscapesupply.com.
“I’m happy with where we’re at,” Nick said. “We’ve come a long ways. But I’m not satisfied. I just want to keep growing. Every year, we add something new to what we have to offer.”
“We seem to hit our goals every year,” Ryan said. “Our retail business the last three months has been up 30 to 40 percent compared to last year. We’re very fortunate to have a good team and customer base.”