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Faces Of Fargo Business: Craig A. Wendt

Craig A. Wendt, Owner of Valley Landscaping, Curb Master and Spitfire Bar and Grill


Valley Landscaping, Curb Master and Spitfire Bar and Grill

As part owner of Valley Landscaping, Curb Master and Spitfire Bar and Grill along with his brother, Craig Wendt knows a thing about prioritizing and growing his many businesses.

  • Hometown: Buffalo, North Dakota
  • Family: Vicki (wife), Sierra (freshman at NDSU) and Kassidy (freshman in high school) 
  • Fun fact: His daughter Sierra got her realtors license in high school and works for Archer Real Estate.
  • Hobbies: Hunting, fishing and anything outdoors

Day in his life...

I wake up early, think about what needs to get done and help get the crews organized and ready to go. I spend most of my day meeting with customers and working on estimates.

Worst piece of advice he’s ever received…

I can’t remember a specific incident where I received bad advice but one thing I have learned is that people will always tell you what to do. You have to trust yourself because people are not always honest. Just stick to your gut and what you believe to be right.

What keeps him up at night…

I am a very light sleeper and I am constantly thinking ahead and planning what needs to get done. I often wake up and write things down so I don’t forget them because I have a lot going on at once. I spend a lot of time worrying and thinking about solutions to problems. 

What would he give a TED Talk on…

I think I would give a motivational TED Talk. I would want to encourage people to be more positive, especially in my work. There is a lot that depends on the weather so there’s only so much I can control. You just have to work hard, do your best to find solutions and keep a positive outlook to just work through life.

How the reality of his job differs from people’s perception of it…

Many people don’t know about or understand the extensive work that goes on behind the scenes. A lot of customers enjoy working with us and have a smooth experience but there is a lot of planning and work that happens in order to make everything happen. Also, many people are unaware of how much the weather impacts everything we do, especially this year with our late spring and with the early winter last year. Our season gets cut short and the weather doesn’t care about what we have scheduled. 

What’s his why…

I enjoy making people happy. Valley Landscaping and Spitfire Bar and Grill allow me to provide services and good experiences for customers. There was a lot of hard work in order to make these a possibility. The most important thing for me is a happy customer and I do everything I can to ensure every experience is the best it can be.

What part of his job would he use an “easy button” on…

If I could control the weather, my job would be tremendously less stressful. This entire business revolves around the weather. Rain often causes delays throughout the summer but it is especially harmful when spring lasts too long or winter comes too early. Though there are struggles, my team and I make the best of everything and if we can’t do one project, we try to work on another. 

One characteristic he believes every great leader should possess…

I think positivity is most important because it really encompasses everything. With a good attitude comes kindness and honesty. People who listen to others are the best role models. Leading by example is extremely important and a good leader has to be able to hold people together and motivate them. 

One way he fosters creativity within his organizations…

I always love to get new ideas both for Valley Landscaping and Spitfire Bar and Grill. I look through landscaping magazines and what other landscapers are doing and pull inspiration from that. I also enjoy going to other restaurants to see what they’re doing well and maybe not so well. Everything is a learning opportunity and I like to explore different ideas and what I could incorporate into my businesses or what I can change for the better. I always tell my customers to think outside of the box. When working with customers, my team and I can sometimes take an idea and turn it into something better than they could have imagined. 

One local leader he looks up to…

I think Steve Scheel is a leader I respect and admire. He was able to build this empire without sacrificing quality and good customer service.

Written by Mike Dragosavich

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