Rocco Fiore & Sons specializes in landscape architecture, site development, and management—bringing the best of the outdoors to your yard.
Photograph by Jim Prisching
When it comes to understanding the details of designing, installing, and maintaining landscapes, Rocco and Steve Fiore, president and vice president of Rocco Fiore & Sons, are knowledgeable experts who work to surpass their clients’ expectations. After more than six decades of business on the North Shore, the company remains a standout in the landscaping industry.
Rocco and Steve’s father, Rocco Sr., started the company in 1947 in Highwood. Initially, Rocco Fiore & Sons offered landscaping maintenance services to residential clients on the North Shore. Knowing that it was in their blood to be in the family business, Rocco Jr. and Steve pursued their passion in college; Rocco graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in business management and landscape design, while Steve majored in landscape architecture at the University of Illinois. Several years after graduating, Rocco Jr. took over the company, which soon added landscape architecture and installation to its already flourishing maintenance business.
Now located on a 12-acre parcel in Libertyville, the company’s office and physical surroundings have expanded as substantially as their clientele base. With greenhouses on the premises for growing specialty plants, as well as an 80-acre nursery further north of the office, their locally grown selection of plants is only one way that the company goes above and beyond for their customers.
As a not-so-average company, Rocco Fiore & Sons is always willing to go the distance for its clients. In one recent instance, for example, they had prepared flower planters filled with hydrangeas for a customer’s outdoor party. Because of a sudden wave of heat and humidity, however, the flower buds on the hydrangeas lost their vibrant color. Sunday, the morning of the party, the client was pleasantly surprised to find Rocco’s
employees standing in her yard, arranging new hydrangea flower cuttings they had ordered from Brazil. The occasion illustrated the company’s steadfast desire to exceed their customers’ expectations. “It’s our culture,” Rocco says. “We don’t do something, leave, and move on with the next project. We want to have recurring relationships with our customers.”
When planning a landscape, the company’s designers consider not only the immediate appearance of the newly installed plants, but they also contemplate the long-standing look. While a certain design may be aesthetically appealing initially, it’s also important to make sure that the entire project is sustainable—in other words, the plants should still be complementary after 20 years of growth, and the long-term maintenance level should not be excessive. Foreseeing these aspects of the landscape design and installation process is yet another area in which Rocco Fiore & Sons excels; for the company’s employees, understanding the big picture before beginning the process is imperative, and something in which they have become very skilled.
Like Rocco and Steve, their staff members are hard-working and very passionate about their jobs. Many have been with the business for numerous years, giving them a thorough awareness of the best landscaping methods. More often than not, they are involved in every step of the process to ensure that their projects are completed in the most timely and unsurpassed manner. Their efforts have paid off, as the company has won every Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA) award for which they have applied. Rocco also served as the president of that organization from 2002 to 2003.
The company’s highly skilled staff, coupled with its philosophy of always doing the best possible work, has resulted in many impressive projects. From restoring gardens designed by legendary landscape architect Jens Jensen to installing golf putting greens along Lake Michigan, Rocco Fiore & Sons has experience in every aspect of the landscaping business. They have also completed projects that called for an industrial-size crane to lift trees over a city building and into a courtyard, or required the electric company to temporarily remove power lines in order to move a large tree. During the winter, the company specializes in designing outdoor holiday decorations and lighting, and they also place their focus on project planning/design and education. Whether big or small, the employees consider each project to be a test—one that requires both practical and creative insight.
Rocco and Steve also look for opportunities to give back to the community. This fall, they supported several local horse farm events by donating beautiful plants to be arranged around the courses, not to mention their year-round support of local Historical Society and Garden Walk events. Their charitable efforts are just one way that they hope to maintain their family-like relationships with local community members.
At the end of the day, Rocco and Steve feel very fortunate to have experienced their business’ tremendous growth over the years. For their entire lives, they have striven to uphold their father’s formula of doing the best job possible. With the always-changing nature of their industry, they find their work to be both a challenge and a pleasure. “Landscaping is a great field, and it has many facets—from small scale designs to parks, golf courses, and even laying out cities,” Steve says. “Every project has a process, because we’re designing spaces for our clients—not for ourselves. And when they walk outside and enjoy the environment, we know we did it.”
Rocco Fiore & Sons is located at 28270 North Bradley Road in Libertyville. For more information, call 847-680-1207, or visit roccofiore.com.