Keys Kids Take Over Tavernier Mower

Alisha and Troy Johnson are perfect examples of Keys kids who took every opportunity to work their way up in the world. They built a company from scratch and have recently saved another from closing its doors.

After earning Eagle Scout rank and graduating from Coral Shores, Troy worked the evening shift at Marlin Food Stores, the night shift at Jewfish Creek Bridge, and spent his mornings doing landscaping jobs with a buddy for as many clients as he could drum up.

“My buddy and I were making $45 a yard. I’d say, ‘10 bucks for you, 10 bucks for me, and the rest back into the company,’” Troy says. “That deal didn’t work out for my buddy, but I stuck with it and built Artistic Lawn and Landscape, which Alisha and I still run today.”

Alisha has always been a hard worker, too. She started as a kid doing fence work with her dad, installing residential and commercial fences. Alisha moved to the Keys from Nashville, TN after Hurricane Andrew in ‘92 to help rebuild. She went to Key Largo School and graduated from Coral Shores High School in ‘98.

Soon after graduating, Alisha was introduced to Troy, and they hit it off immediately. She worked at Bass Pro Shop, Holiday Isle, Dr. Brian Magrane, and The Medical Center at Ocean Reef before joining forces full-time with Artistic Lawn and Landscape. She drove the truck and ran a crew for several years until taking over the office logistics as the company grew.

As owners of a landscaping company, Troy and Alisha have been longtime customers of Tavernier Mower, an invaluable resource for Keys landscapers, homeowners, county public works, and fire and rescue departments. They rely on Tavernier Mower for parts, equipment, and repair work. So, when Tavernier Mower considered closing its doors last year, Troy and Alisha decided it was too valuable of a community resource to let slip away.

“Tavernier Mower has been a local resource for nearly 40 years,” Troy says. “It provides the equipment, parts, and experienced mechanics that so many local businesses and homeowners need.”

Alisha and Troy became the new owners in January and have since given Tavernier Mower a facelift, doing a serious deep clean, installing new floors, and reorganizing the shop to make it more customer-friendly.

They have also extensively expanded their inventory to include hydraulic hoses, rakes, shovels, landscaping tarps, irrigation parts, and much more. They thoughtfully curated this inventory for business owners and homeowners alike.

Longtime trusted 2-stroke mechanic Jason is still on board and has been joined by a 4-stroke mechanic that goes by the name Bear. They will continue to offer repair services on mowers, generators, pressure washers, small engines, and more.

Troy and Alisha realize that owning Tavernier Mower puts them in a unique position to help the community during hurricane season. They already plan to adjust their inventory as the season approaches to ensure homeowners and community members have local access to the tools they need.

Alisha also has a unique position in the community as the Vice President of Whiskers & Paws Forever of Monroe County, where she has volunteered and fostered since 2000. She and Troy have adopted many of the “rejects” over the years who couldn’t find a home. These furry Keys kids have taken over their home in the best way possible.

To celebrate their new ownership and renovations, Alisha and Troy are hosting a Grand Re-Opening of Tavernier Mower on May 4th. DJ Dougie is emceeing the event, where all are welcome to enjoy free food and drinks and enter the raffle for a chance to win a chainsaw and other great prizes.

–Jerrica Mah is a writer, Army wife, and freelance book editor, who loves to travel with her family.

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