Local artisans breathe new life into outdated projects. by Brandon Hoops, photos by Keith Borgmeyer CRUZ CHAVEZ At age 22, Cruz Chavez walked away...
How did you two meet?
Toby: We met on our first day of work at Dillard’s while in college here in 1985. We met in “Cash Register Training” class, so we’ve had a long history of working together. Tim had started Rost Landscaping in 1985 but worked retail during the winter months.
What was your first date?
Toby: We went to Everett’s Restaurant for dinner, which used to be at the corner of Rangeline and I-70. I even remember that I got the Hawaiian chicken dinner but was too nervous to eat very much. The restaurant was recently torn down to accommodate the new highway being built there.
How long have you been together?
Toby: Since 1987
How does business play into your relationship dynamics?
Tim: We have very separate responsibilities and challenges based on our individual skills at the company.
Toby: We understand each other’s job completely and support each other, and this carries over into our personal lives as well. People always tell us they couldn’t work with their spouse. We feel very blessed that we can work well together. In our personal time, we have individual hobbies and some we enjoy together.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Tim: Traveling, mission trips and farming.
Toby: Spending time with our grown kids (we are empty nesters now), cooking, traveling, reading and lots of pets.
Tim: Working at the tree farm in Fayette, Missouri, hunting and fishing.
Toby: Walking, hiking, and we have a large vegetable garden we work in to “relax.”
What are the best aspects of your partner?
Tim: Her business sense
Toby: He has great vision and the energy to see it through.
What is unique about your relationship?
Tim: We have no problem working together.
Toby: Because we have worked together for 30 years, we have insight into each other’s day, so with little explanation we are able to understand both the challenges and the joys our jobs.
What is your favorite restaurant to frequent in CoMo?
Tim: 44 Stone Public House, but we love to try new restaurants in town. There are too many to choose from!
What is one thing people don’t know about you?
Tim: I studied dairy science (I grew up on a dairy farm near Hermann, Missouri) and not plant science at Mizzou.
Toby: My major was housing and interior design at Mizzou (I’m from St. Louis). We both came to Mizzou and never left. We love it here.
What has been your favorite project to work on together?
Tim: Starting Superior Garden Center in 1991.
Toby: Same answer for me. We have had fun building up our entire company through multiple divisions. The retail division has given us the opportunity to showcase our expansive selection of trees and shrubs beyond just landscaping jobs.