A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Zach Hughes

A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Zach Hughes
By: Rebecca Libauskas Last Updated: June 24, 2019

Before Zach Hughes could even drive a car, he started Young Cuts, a successful lawn care service based in Portage. He dreamed up the idea of his landscape company in 2012 when he was just 11 years old, fueled by visions of buying a fishing boat with his proceeds. Armed with a push mower and weed wacker, Hughes started Young Cuts and has since grown it into a thriving business where he’s invested his earnings into better equipment.

“I really like making yards look nice and being reliable for people,” Hughes said.

Because of Hughes’ work ethic, attention to detail, and dependability, his company mows close to 100 yards a week. He is always getting new customers because of his great reviews, both word-of-mouth and online. Hughes and his crew provide a much needed service and the teens especially enjoy helping those who are physically unable to mow. In addition, Hughes appreciates working with his friends and providing jobs for others. He said the jobs allow them to have fun and stay out of trouble.

“I learned that if you keep your head on straight, anything can happen,” Hughes said.

Owning a business is not easy, especially as a high school student. Hughes is grateful that his parents serve as his business partners. They own a UPS store in Portage, and are familiar with business operations; they assist Hughes with paperwork and other aspects of business ownership. For Hughes, Young Cuts would not be possible without his parents and crew. They even stepped in when Hughes faced serious health problems last year.

Hughes was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when he was 7 years old, and last September, he underwent a major surgery. To prepare for the surgery, Hughes was on a liquid diet for seven weeks. The lack of food caused him to lose weight and feel weak, but he pushed through the discomfort to make sure the lawns were done. He was worn out in the summer’s heat, but his tenacity carried him through to finish what he started.

Hughes went out of commission when the time came for surgery. He was in the hospital for a week and doctors would not allow him to mow for a month. His father and friends stepped in and made sure the jobs were completed. Hughes recalls sitting in the hospital bed and writing mowing to-do lists and writing invoices.

“Just keep going, you can overcome anything, and keep pushing,” Hughes said. “You’ll get there. You’ll be frustrated and it’s hard, but you’ll get there.”  

While Hughes is a talented business owner, he wants to explore other avenues as well. Hughes plans to attend college after graduating in 2020 and becoming a paramedic and firefighter. He thanks his parents for their inspiration and support for all of his dreams.

“I appreciate everything my parents do,” Hughes said.  “I am where I am because of them.