It Comes Down to Two Things

West Meets East

JC and Adina Castillon, the co-owners of Genesis Lawn and Snow, hail from opposite ends of the country. JC hails from California and Adina from Florida. Their individual journeys led them through various locations before landing in Tahoe, California, where they built an idyllic life.

JC was born and raised in California and lived on the West Coast, including living in Hawaii for several years. Adina, born and raised in south Florida, lived in various locations on the East Coast, including New York City. She eventually ended up in Lake Tahoe and that’s where she met JC, who she described as a “big shot poker player.”

The Perfect Life Takes a Drastic Turn

After getting married, they enjoyed what many would view as a perfect life. Looking back on their journey, Adina reflected, “we were pretty happy with our suburban lifestyle. It hit all the checkmarks. We enjoyed the weather, we enjoyed vacations, and pretty much had a great life.”

Their tranquil life took a drastic turn when JC began to experience debilitating back pain. He decided to have surgery, but what should have been a routine surgery left him completely bedbound. “He was approved for permanent disability,” Adina said. “It is a miracle of God that he is able to walk at all.”

New Directions

This challenge reshaped their lives, pushing them to explore new paths. With the high cost of living in California, they decided to move to South Dakota. Adina shifted her focus towards healthcare and took a position as Director of Operations at a laboratory.

While there, a physical therapist recommended that JC walk behind a push lawn mower as therapy. JC borrowed a push mower and started mowing the lawn at the house they were renting. As he began to get stronger, he started mowing the neighbor’s lawn, too. What started as therapy for JC led to a discovery—a newfound passion for lawn care and landscaping.

Starting a Business in Thief River Falls

JC continued to get stronger and stronger, and when they moved to Thief River Falls, Minnesota in 2021, he decided to turn his love of lawn care into a lawn and snow removal business, Genesis Lawn and Snow. He and Adina started small in terms of equipment, but large in terms of determination and passion. By the winter of 2022, they had already acquired 60 customers.

Despite the massive trials they faced, JC and Adina have maintained a spirit of positivity and optimism, rooted in their faith in God. Their four children have joined them in the business, creating a full-fledged family enterprise. Future plans include expansion of the commercial side of their business.

Two Things

Through their journey, JC and Adina have exhibited perseverance and adaptability, launching a business in the face of serious health challenges. “You have to stay focused on your vision,” JC said, “and you need to do that every day.”

For the Castillons, business is not just about making money. “It comes down to two things,” JC said. “Love my God and love my neighbor.”

For more information on Genesis Lawn and Snow, visit their website.


JC and Adina shared their inspiring story at TREK on April 2, 2024.

More About TREK

TREK is a monthly gathering of small business owners and support organizations. It is a place to learn, share ideas, and talk about the local economy. There are no membership fees or attendance requirements. For more information, visit the TREK page.

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